A group under the aegis of Vanguard of Concerned Citizens of Nigeria has demanded for the resignation of Mahmood Yakubu, Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) over alleged disenfranchisement of young Nigerians from participating in their statutory civic responsibility.
The group in a statement said the right to vote is a civic responsibility as enshrined in the International Charter of every democratic nation and in the Nigeria constitution of 1999 as amended.
“Young Nigerians have been intentionally disenfranchised by the actions of INEC and its proxies as evident in the various INEC registration centres across the nation which is due to either under staffing or no machines or nonfunctional equipment. These bring to question the capability of the INEC Chairman to deliver a free and fair election to Nigerians and the electorates.
“Hence, we are calling for an extension of the INEC registration deadline or the resignation of the principal if he cannot meet the needs and the yearnings of the populace as regards the promotion of civic rights of Nigerians which is the right to vote and be voted for.
“The incompetence of INEC at this time, calls for a forensic investigation into the budget of INEC and the accountability of the institution. Nigerians seek to know what has been expended into material purchase and why there is a clog in the system in spite of the huge allocation and disbursement to the organisation.
“These are tax-payers money and hence we are inviting the following Anti-corruption agencies; the EFCC and ICPC to look into the pleas of Nigerians as regards INEC’s excuses for incompetence which is hinged on non-availability of machines and inadequate staffing. Why must Nigerians suffer, why must we be made to pay for the sins of INEC’s incompetence?
“We hereby seek unequivocally, the extension of voters registration for another two months. Both the online and physical registration and machines should be made available at all INEC centres with adequate manpower to support the huge number of Nigerians seeking to be registered to vote.
“We therefore demand that the INEC Chairman do the needful to extend the date for PVC registration. If INEC could afford to extend the date for the political party primaries, it can surely afford to give the electorate more time to make their votes count.