Atiku Abubakar, Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has asked Chairman of the Independent Electoral Commission (INEC), Mahmood Yakubu, to resign from his position instead of pushing blames of poor conduct of the last presidential and national assembly elections on staff of the commission.
During a meeting with resident electoral commissioners (RECs) in Abuja on Saturday, March 4, the INEC Chairman had admitted that a number of issues ranging from technology, delay by election officials, and attitudes of political parties’ agents jeopardised the outcome of the February 25 elections.
Mahmood Yakubu also promised Nigerians that the officials responsible for the infractions would not be involved in the gubernatorial election holding this weekend and would face disciplinary actions.
Reacting to the disclosure, Atiku through his special assistant on public communication, Phrank Shaibu, accused the INEC chairman of being a hypocrite and trying to shift blame instead of accepting responsibility for the irregularities during the presidential and national assembly elections.
The statement read;
“The INEC chairman is nothing but a hypocrite.
“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.”