The presidency is pressurising the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to rig the 2019 general election, The Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) has alleged.

The association said this is the reason why INEC ruled out electronic voting in the next general election.

In a statement on Thursday, Emmanuel Onwubiko, national coordinator of HURIWA, said the commission’s decision not to use electronic voting is “a game plan to rig the presidential poll for the incumbents of all political formations who can play ball (sic).”

“We condemn this leadership of INEC for sticking to the primitive and manipulative way of manual conduct of elections as against global best practices and wonder why the electoral commission had in recent times spent billions to procure electronic voting machines,” the statement read.

“We learnt authoritatively that INEC under Yakubu Mohmood has collapsed under the heavy weight of pressure by the presidency not to deploy electronic voting machines for the purposes of the general election.

“This sinister plot to manipulate the actual voting exercise by not using electronic voting system but to adopt electronic transfer of results to rapidly issue and annual rigged results to achieve a fait accompli should be condemned totally.

“This decision by INEC not to use electronic voting is primitive, unconstitutional and will adversely affect the credibility of 2019 elections.”

HURIWA also described as “false and unscientific” the recent claim by the National Population Commission that Nigeria’s new population now stands at 198 million.

It wondered how the figure of the national population was arrived at “when Nigeria has not conducted headcount that ought to have been done in 2016”.

“The coincidence between the announcement of a highly frivolous and untenable new population figure with that of INEC refusing to use electronic voting shows two federal institutions that are partners in the criminal collusion to undermine the independence, credibility and integrity of the 2019 general elections,” it said.

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