The Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) says the presidency and senate have rigged Saturday’s governorship election in Kogi State with the approval of N10 billion payment few days to the exercise.
KanyiDaily had earlier reported that the Senate President, Ahmed Lawan, approved the sum of N10 billion payment to Kogi, as a refund for projects executed by the state government on behalf of the Federal Government.
The payment was approved two days to the state’s governorship election which holds on Saturday, November 16, 2019.
Reacting in a statement on Wednesday by its National Coordinator, Emmanuel Onwubiko, HURIWA wondered why the Senate would approve such money, just two days to Kogi Guber election.
The group said by delaying the release of the money till this time, the All Progressives Congress-dominated National Assembly and President Muhammadu Buhari had inevitably interfered in the Kogi governorship poll in an unlawful way. The statement reads:
“We absolutely condemn the senator Ahmed Lawan – led National Assembly for orchestrating the worst case of abuse of power which is what the approval of the N10 billion payment to an incumbent governor of same political affiliation facing a tough election, represents.
“We condemn once more the presidency for even coming up with such a dubious idea to reward the Kogi state governor who is yet to pay civil servants and teachers in Kogi state in the last four years with over a dozen of these unfortunate citizens committing suicide or collapsing to their deaths due to Kogi state government’s induced poverty, deprivation, want and impoverishment unleashed on Kogi working class. We do not repose any hope and trust on INEC to conduct a free and fair poll because it is not in the DNA of the current INEC to conduct transparent election.
“It would be recalled as we earlier stated Kogi, like the Senate and the federal government, is controlled by the All Progressives Congress (APC).The approval was a sequel to the adoption of the report of the Senate Committee on Local and Foreign Debts, which considered the promissory note programme and a bond issuance to settle inherited local debts and contractual obligations on the refund to state governments for projects executed on behalf of the federal government.
“This is a coup attempt against the people of Kogi state by the APC dominated Senate and the Presidency. We urge Kogi people not to mortgage their state to the whims and caprices of cash for votes bandits parading around in the Country as politicians especially the species that have direct access to the Presidency that is heavily partisan and sectional,” the statement added.
The forthcoming governorship election in Kogi is expected to be a tough contest between incumbent Governor Yahaya Bello of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Musa Wada of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Miss Natasha Akpoti of Social Democratic Party (SDP).