The voter recall of Senate President Bukola Saraki initiated by a civil society group, Kwara Must Change, appears to have been hijacked by Mr. Saraki using the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the group alleged today, announcing it is postponing the process.
The action was to have begun today, August 1, 2017, the group recalled in a statement signed by its President, Abdulrazaq O. Hamzat, and Kwara Central Coordinator, Yusuf Olatunji.
But INEC, to which Kwara Must Change wrote to INEC to inform of the recall plan has failed to release to the group the required a certified copy of the voter registration list, as demanded by the law, it said in the statement.
“Although, prior to this moment, we already have in our possession, a copy of the voters’ registration list, but this copy is not certified; neither can we be sure of its authenticity. The certified copy we requested from INEC is to observe due process and ensure what we have is the original copy.”
The group further stated that some persons on the staff of the commission have confided it should have applied for the certified copy before making the announcement of the recall.
“According to them, we have been double crossed by Mr. Saraki and his aides. They noted that, since the date we made the recall announcement, some aides of the Senate President had approached the commission to seek their cooperation in frustrating the recall. They confessed that few days before our letter arrived, the leadership of INEC in the state had addressed the staff and warned them not to release the official voter’s registration list to any group or person and failure to abide may cost them their jobs.”
The group said while it is unable to ascertain the authenticity of that story, something seems to be amiss given that up until today, INEC has yet to honor its request.
Vowing to get to the bottom of the matter, it described the public solidarity to commence the recall exercise as “overwhelming” and the readiness by coordinators across the wards and Local Government Areas throughout Kwara as “impressive”.
“We greatly appreciate all the goodwill messages and public determination to effect the recall,” the group said, promising to announce a new date “as soon as time permits.”