ABUJA – Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Chairman, Prof. Attahiru Jega, has cautioned politicians against making utterances that could overheat the polity and undermine the prevailing ‘’peaceful’’ electoral process.
He made the appeal at the presidential election national collation centre on Tuesday in Abuja when Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) agent for the polls, Mr Godsday Orubebe, accused him (Jega) of bias against the party.
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Orubebe, former Minister of Niger Delta Affairs had said that Jega promptly ordered investigation into All Progressives Congress (APC) protest against the polls in Rivers but refused to address PDP’s petition over the polls result from Kano.
He said that PDP had lost confidence in the INEC chairman handling of the final stages of the electoral process and would not allow the commission to proceed with collation and release of more results.
“We do not believe in you anymore, because you have compromised and until you listen to our petition, we will not continue.
“You are tribalistic and partial and Nigerians will not allow that; we will not take it until something is done,’’ he said.
Orubebe, who rose and sat on the floor of the collation centre, insisted that until the INEC chairman attended to his petition, he would not allow him to commence the collation process.
He disrupted the commencement of the exercise, which went underway after the former minister was persuaded to leave the hall by security operatives.
Reacting, Jega said, “politicians should be careful of what they say or do at this moment; let us not disrupt a process that has ended peacefully and will end in a few hour.’’.
He said that Orubebe only brought the said petition to him on the floor of the collation centre, and said such act was against the electoral law.
He added that he had instructed that his office should remain open for his secretary attended to petitions that may come while collation was going on.
“I had started collation and I cannot start receiving petitions here on this platform. As I speak to you, I have not received any petition.
“With regard to result published by APC in its website, I will not give result to anybody; genuine results will be announced formally by INEC.
“As far as I am concerned, I have not seen any result and I have not given any person any result.
“So for you to engage me on that issue in this manner, I think frankly, that you are not being fair to me,’’ Jega said. (NAN)