Former Minister of Information, Prof. Jerry Gana, has expressed concern about the recent fire incidents at offices of the Independent National Electoral Commission in some parts of the country.
Addressing newsmen in Abuja on Wednesday, Gana said the incidents might affect the credibility of the general elections.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that INEC, had on Tuesday confirmed that 4,695 card readers meant for Saturday’s presidential and National Assembly elections were destroyed by fire at its office in Awka, Anambra.
NAN further reports that in last 12 days, INEC offices in Isiala Ngwa and Qua’n Pan Local Government Areas of Abia and Plateau respectively were razed by fire.
Gana, a presidential aspirant under the Social Democratic Party, said Nigerians were becoming “deeply concerned and very fearful that the forthcoming elections may be seriously compromised’’.
While noting that no democracy could function properly without credible elections, he urged INEC to do everything within its powers to ensure the polls were free and fair.
He also urged President Muhammadu Buhari to address the alleged interference of security agencies in the electoral process to guarantee the survival of the nation’s democracy.
He said: “We must not forget that democracy was achieved on the sacrifices, labour and intense sweat of patriotic Nigerians. Some had to pay the supreme price to restore democracy in Nigeria.
“This is why it becomes extremely important that we, both the young and the elderly, must not sit by and watch our democracy derailed. Never Again!’’
To this end, he urged Nigerians to come out en mass on Saturday and exercise their franchise without fear of intimidation.