We are selected members of the pro-democracy and human rights community under the various platforms of the below mentioned civil society groups including those accredited for Election Observer Mission by the UK Electoral Commission.
Equally, some of us served as Members of INEC Monitoring and Observation Board Anambra and FCT Area Council Election 2010.
As stakeholders in the electoral process, we view with great concern and extreme disappointment the recent campaign of calumny, distraction and mischief against the indefatigable Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Prof Mahmoud Yakubu, by disgruntled political elements.
Ordinarily, the organisations will not have waded into the matter but the manner in which the blackmailers are going about their innuendos and assault against Prof Mahmoud, we are constrained to issue the following statement:
- We condemn the blackmail against Yakubu in strongest terms. The allegation is part of a grand design at stonewalling his clearance by the Senate for another five-year term.
- Equally, very few serious minded democrats can continue to ignore the tantrums by desperate political elements in continuation of their dirty fight against Yakubu for refusal to compromise with them.
- From available information, it has become clear that purveyors of campaign of distraction are in cahoots with some forces nursing a dark agenda to subvert the electoral process as we are gradually building up to the 2023 general election.
- A critical survey of the motive, tactics and implementation strategies of this grand design has equally laid bare a perfidious plot by a mischievous gang to create and exploit the controversy to blackmail, ridicule and undermine Yakubu for the purpose of blackmailing him out of office.
- We contend that the recent onslaught against Yakubu is nothing but a hoax disguised as a clarion call to duty. It is part of the larger agenda by cash and carry politicians to smuggle their anointed candidate through the back door as election rigging instrument.
- It is on record that Yakubu’s ingenuity and unreserved commitment towards electoral fidelity and excellence remains the driving force of INEC under his leadership.
- Their game plan is to sow the seed of discord in order to impose a lily livered character ready to compromise the interest of the country. The idea for a puppet is create an avenue for foreign powers to have access to the electoral data base and fingerprint of all registered voters in Nigeria, they believe Yakubu can never patronise such unpatriotic agenda of pretender kings desperately craving for imaginary empires.
- Happily and contrary to insinuations and deliberate misconceptions being orchestrated by agents of stagnation and distraction, Yakubu instituted a culture of openness, due process and transparency in INEC beyond reproach.
- Moreover, majority of Nigerians, stakeholders in the electoral process and other chairmen of various electoral commissions across West Africa have described Yakubu as a reformer imbued with competence and efficiency worthy of emulation, having held him in very high esteem and considered him eminently qualified of such positions.
- We feel duty bound, as citizens of Nigeria, to challenge his blackmailers to state the reason they are advertising ignorance and being allergic to innovative ideas entrenched by Yakubu that seek to ender growth.
- As an educationist and strict disciplinarian, the electoral management body under his watch exhibited excellent character for the good of beloved country. It is principle that rules his engagement in the day to day administration of the commission consisting men of wavering and time tested human rights crusaders and experts in electoral righteousness in Barr Festus Okoye and Prof Sam Egwu, among others.
- The merchants of blackmail are up in arms with intent to circumvent efforts by Yakubu to further bring sanity and due process in revolutionising the administration of the electoral umpire.
- The enemies of democracy have launched their campaign against Yakubu in order to cause undue distraction to efforts of INEC chairman aimed curtailing election riggers with a holistic approach. This, we found very disturbing, despicable, and unwarranted.
- We resolve to keep the records straight and to call the politicians to discard their revisionist, unpatriotic and Covid-19 inspired game plan forth with.
- It is against this background that we pass a vote of confidence in Prof Yakubu in view of revolution and transparency he has instituted in INEC. Equally, selection of the BPP accredited observers in the procurement process have accorded him such gesture. We are, therefore, seizing this medium to encourage the Senate of the Federal Republic to confirm his reappointment without further delay. We urge him never to give up reformist agenda and never to get distracted on his duty post.
Comrade Wale Adegoke,
Herald for Anti Corruption and Public Morality
Comrade Farouk Umar,
Transparency Center Network
Comrade Tony Chigbo,
Comrade Musa Abdullahi,
Citizens League for the Protection of Democracy