Ebikibina Miriki, a former Senior Special Assistant on Inter-party Affairs to Governor Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa State, has tasked President Muhammadu Buhari on credible governorship election in Edo State.
Miriki called on Buhari to use the forthcoming Edo governorship poll to redeem his image and purge the All Progressives Congress (APC) controlled Federal Government of meddlesomeness to avert an inconclusive process as recorded in some parts of the country.
He said in a statement at the weekend in Yenagoa that Buhari has a moral burden to use the Edo poll to demonstrate that he is not a “biased umpire” due to the questionable way and manner Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), had conducted elections in Kogi, Bayelsa and Rivers states under his administration.
According to him, repeated denials by INEC that it was not being influenced by the Presidency in the conduct of any elections were doubtful given the noticeable pre-election arrests of opposition leaders.
He said that the excessive use of military force and the clamp down on Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) stalwarts before and during the rerun elections in Rivers State were responsible for the massive violence and killings that characterised balloting in the state.
“The unprecedented and excessive use of federal might to intimidate, arrest and clampdown on PDP chieftains before and during the exercise in the rerun elections in the state is unacceptable, undemocratic, crude and autocratic.
“The arrest of party agents and intimidation of the electorate through the militarization of the state and the electoral process to frighten voters in a democratic setting show desperation on the part of the ruling APC.
“It portends a great danger to the nation’s nascent democracy. The influence by the presidency and the use of excessive military force are responsible for the desecration of the sanctity of the ballot box in the Rivers rerun elections,” he stated.
Miriki added that Buhari’s apology over the electoral violence and political brigandage in the Rivers rerun would only be accepted, especially by Bayelsans, if he prosecutes the perpetrators.
“The President should use the Edo State governorship election to show non-partisanship and rewrite the wrongs in the poorly-managed elections in Kogi, Bayelsa and Rivers states,” he said.