The pan-Yoruba socio-cultural group, Afenifere, has expressed dissatisfaction with the Independent National Electoral Commission’s (INEC) level of preparedness to conduct a free, fair and credible elections in the country next year.
A leader of the group, Ayo Adebanjo, stated this while speaking with journalists at Toru-Orua, the hometown of Bayelsa State Governor, Seriake Dickson, during the burial ceremony of his late mother, Mrs Goldcoast Dickson.
Mr Adebanjo who called for an outright change in the leadership of INEC, stressed that it was impossible for the head of an electoral umpire appointed by one of the presidential candidates to be impartial in the conduct of the 2019 general elections.
According to him, “We have said it before that we don’t have any trust in INEC as it is presently constituted. In fact, we are of the view that the whole team should be disbanded. For us to have a free and fair election, there should be no relation of a contestant in the presidential election in INEC’s leadership.
A statement by the Special Adviser to the Bayelsa Governor on Media Relations, Fidelis Soriwei, said the Afenifere chieftain also restated the group’s commitment to the ongoing struggle for the restructuring of the country.
Mr Adebanjo called on Nigerians to vote for the Peoples Democratic Party’s candidate, Atiku Abubakar, in the forthcoming presidential elections for the country to remain united in peace and make progress.
Commiserating with the Dickson family, he described the late Madam Goldcoast as a blessing to Nigeria for bringing up a son in the person of Governor Dickson who has proved himself as a worthy leader.
Describing the governor as a product of the Alliance for Democracy, a nationalist and patriot. The Yoruba leader said he was proud of Dickson’s achievements in office.
His words, “She’s a blessing to Nigeria for giving us a Dickson as a governor. When you see the performance of Governor Dickson, you know the root she came from. For me to travel all the way from the airport to South West to come to this place, shows, the honour and regard I have for Dickson.
“He is a nationalist, true patriot and democrat and a ruler of the people. I believe very much in his style of governance. Don’t forget that he was trained by the Alliance for Democracy, which is the root of the Action Group.”