Atiku rejects INEC’s promise on guber election, demands Yakubu’s resignation
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, has dismissed as arrant nonsense the Independent National Electoral Commission’s (INEC) promise to conduct credible governorship and states house of assembly elections next weekend.
INEC had come under heavy criticism over its conduct of the presidential election with many claiming the process was marred by operational failures including malfunctioning of the Bimodal Voters Accreditation System (BVAS) and the late arrival of election materials to the polling units.
Cases of result manipulation, voter suppression, and intimidation also marred the process.
The PDP and Labour Party had vowed to challenge the outcome of the election in court.
The INEC Chairman, Mahmoud Yakubu, at a meeting with Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs) on Saturday in Abuja, said the commission would ensure the strict use of the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) in the elections.
Yakubu added that all the INEC staff mentioned in the problems that marred the last election would not part in the March 11 polls.
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However, in a statement issued on Sunday by his Special Assistant on Public Communication, Mr. Phrank Shaibu, the former Vice President described Yakubu’s assurance as worthless.
He accused the INEC chief of conducting the worst elections in Nigeria’s elections.
The PDP candidate also commended the United States Ambassador to Nigeria, Mary Beth Leonard, for admitting that the elections were far below the expectations of Nigerians.
The statement read: “After promising to upload the results from polling units in real time, he allowed himself to be used, or he used himself in subverting the will of Nigerians. It will shock you to note that seven days since the election ended, the full results have still not been uploaded on INEC’s result viewing portal.
“The election was so bad that it failed to meet the expectations of Nigerians as restated by several foreign media outlets and observers as well as Ambassador Mary Beth Leonard of the US. Rather than apologise, the INEC chairman is trying to shift the blame.
“After INEC’s abysmal performance at the scam election of February 25, he is now trying to save face, insisting that errant staff would be punished and would not be deployed in the March 11 governorship poll. This is arrant nonsense. Is INEC planning on training new staff within five days that will replace the so-called errant ones? Is he going to recruit new staff or deploy some from outer space?
“Prof. Yakubu should be man enough to own up to his failure. A fish rots from the head down, and that is what has happened at INEC. Rather than suspend any staff, the INEC chairman is the one that needs to step aside as his first act of contrition.
“Already, over 300,000 Nigerians have signed a petition on Change.org to demand that the US, UK and Europe place a visa ban on the INEC chairman. This shows you the general feeling of Nigerians. Prof Yakubu should hide his face in shame.”