The presidential candidate of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, has reacted to the revelation by the immediate past Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, that the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, was allegedly recommended for his reappointment by an associate of the president-elect, Bola Tinubu in 2020.
Speaking in Rivers State on Saturday, Amaechi had alleged that not only did the re-appointment of the INEC chairman come from Tinubu’s camp, the INEC boss also worked under Governor Nyesom Wike when the Rivers State governor was Minister of State for Education and interim Minister of Education in the administration of President Goodluck Jonathan.
“INEC is a complete failure. There are those of us who opposed the reappointment of Yakubu Mahmood. The person who nominated him is a member of Tinubu’s camp. So what are you expecting?
“Here in Rivers State, Mahmood worked under Wike as Executive Secretary of TETFund; so what you are having in Rivers is that APC and other parties are contesting, not against PDP, but against INEC, against police,” Amaechi had alleged.
Reacting to the comment by Amaechi, in a statement in Sunday, Atiku’s Special Assistant on Public Communication, Mr. Phrank Shaibu said the revelation by the former Rivers State governor was a confirmation, “of our worst fears that Yakubu’s INEC was working for the APC.”
Shaibu stated, “Former Governor Amaechi’s revelation is only a confirmation of what everyone always knew. That INEC under the leadership of Prof. Yakubu is inside the deepest corner of Bola Tinubu’s pocket.
“This is a confirmation of our earlier statement that Tinubu had already embarked on a systematic state capture where the police, INEC and the judiciary are in his pocket. Is it not surprising that the AIG who was deployed in Rivers State to supervise the governorship and presidential elections is Kayode Egbetokun, a known ally of Tinubu, who also served as Tinubu’s Chief Security Officer while he was governor of Lagos?
“This unholy alliance between INEC and the police is the reason why the election in Rivers State remains one of the most rigged in the history of Nigeria. Indeed, the journey to state capture has begun.”
Shaibu added that INEC chairman’s compromise was the reason results were not uploaded on election day, and also, the same reason that Yakubu continued to announce the results despite protests from political parties.
He said when the story of Nigerian elections would be told, Yakubu’s name would be mentioned for the wrong reasons.
Atiku’s aide added, “This explains why, after promising Nigerians that he would upload election results from polling units, he changed his mind at the last minute and then blamed it on glitches. Truth be told, Yakubu was the only glitch because of his incestuous affair with Tinubu’s APC.
“His predecessor, Prof. Attahiru Jega conducted two credible presidential elections in 2011 and 2015. The 2015 election was so credible that it witnessed the lowest number of election petitions and court disputes.
“Rather than improve on this, Prof Yakubu put his personal interest far and above that of over 200 million Nigerians. He claimed before the election at Chatham House that the electoral system he put in place was so advanced that the human body odour could be used for voter accreditation if he wanted. But this was all part of his grand deception.
“Despite receiving higher allocations than any other INEC chairman in history, Prof Yakubu could not conduct a credible election. This is indeed shameful for a man who over 200 million Nigerians saw as their last hope.”
Shaibu said the exposè by an online platform on the eve of the presidential election that INEC had been compromised by Tinubu, had shown to be true after all.
Furthermore, Atiku’s aide added that it was also disheartening that INEC chairman continued to award sensitive election contracts to APC candidates.
He added, “A top consultant of INEC was caught on tape revealing that Tinubu would offer $170 million to the commission’s officials to manipulate the results of the presidential elections across Nigeria.
“In the same election season, INEC awarded sensitive contracts to companies owned by Senator Sani Musa of APC and Senator Aishatu Ahmed Binani, the APC governorship candidate in Adamawa. It is indeed safe to say that Nigeria’s democracy has been sold to the APC by Prof. Yakubu.”
Chuks Okocha in Abuja