Chief Edwin Clark, an Elder Statesman in the country has expressed some worries about the recent happenings in the country as the preparations for the 2019 general elections continues, he has said “it will be difficult to say if the elections will be free and fair.”
Chief Clark also condemned the involvement of a senatorial candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC, in the production of sensitive materials for the 2019 general elections.
Chief Clark who is the leader of the Pan Niger Delta Forum, PANDEF, also questioned the independence of the electoral umpire, Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, saying, “Even though it has been said INEC is independent, with the Nigeria factor, is INEC really free?” INEC chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, had last Saturday at Abuja while addressing stakeholders on the reason behind the postponement of the presidential and national assembly elections, confirmed that a senatorial candidate of the APC, Mohammed Musa, “is a contractor to the commission.”
The INEC boss while responding to a question by Osita Chidoka, former aviation minister who represented Uche Secondus, national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), at the meeting, had said: “Yes, I am aware.
That company has been working with the commission since 2011. I assure you that we have a strict system.” Reacting to the response by Yakubu, Chief Clark during a press briefing at his Kiagbodo residence in Burutu local government area of Delta State, questioned the morality of using the same contractor who he alleged was blacklisted by the commission in 2011.
Speaking on his battles with the contractor in 2015, Chief Clark said: “I was one of those active persons who took on this man in 2015 when there was contest between Dr. Goodluck Jonathan and the present President Muhammadu Buhari.
Contractor vowed Jonathan will lose in 2015 “We discovered from Facebook at that time, that he will do everything possible to make Jonathan lose the election. So we went into investigation why this man was so categorical. It was then that we discovered that this man has a factory in Maitama, Abuja where he was manufacturing these things (materials for INEC).
“We even went to the extent of videoing the place. When it came to their (INEC) knowledge, they subtracted the contract to a Chinese company and it took time for those materials to arrive. “But in 2015, we were told about these irregularities and went in to find out.
The Director General of DSS, police went into the matter and discovered that what we investigated was true. “So both the man and his partner were chatting with the security agencies until the election was over. If true that this man was blacklisted in 2011, who lifted the ban? Why is he now using a company with a different name?”
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