The Buhari Media Organisation (BMO) has accused the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Professor Mahmud Yakubu of dereliction of duty and is demanding his resignation.
This it said is because of the tardiness that led to the postponement of the Presidential and National Assembly election in collusion with the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).BMO said in a statement signed by its Chairman Niyi Akinsiju and Secretary Cassidy Madueke that it was disappointed that the INEC chairman allowed the Commission to be infiltrated by opposition elements.
“The INEC chairman did not give indications of any problem before now and is known to have consistently said the commission was prepared and that was because President Muhammadu Buhari made sure that it got the required funding in spite of the delay in budget passage orchestrated by the leadership of the National Assembly
“Because of Professor Yakubu’s assurances, we would have been right to assume that nothing short of an act of God would have prevented the election from holding but we are disappointed that he had the temerity to use the excuse of logistic challenge to defer the election by one week”, it said.
The pro-Buhari group also recalled that it once drew attention to possible infiltration of the Commission by opposition elements through a former INEC chairman but it was not aware that the Commission did much to arrest the situation.
It said: “Long before now, BMO raised the alarm on PDP’s recruitment of a former INEC chairman who presided over one of the worst elections in Nigeria’s recent history as a technical consultant“So if Professor Mahmud is blaming his inability to go ahead with the election on operational difficulties, then he should be looking inward at internal sabotage by INEC operatives who still owe allegiance to the former Commission chairman.
“If indeed electoral materials were not stacked in CBN offices in states like was done for previous elections, what happened? And why would materials meant for some states be sent to other states?
“The obvious sabotage could also be seen in the way members of the National Youth Service Corps who were recruited as adhoc electoral staff were abandoned to their fate in many states of the federation.
“So the question is-what happened to funds made available for the welfare of the corps members?”
As for opposition elements blaming the Presidency for INEC’s tardiness, BMO maintained that the postponement hurts President Buhari more than his main challenger in the election.The group said:
“it is absolutely ludicrous for Atiku Abubakar to hold the President responsible for this unacceptable act when it is clear that he and his party may now have the opportunity to cover about 15 states that he was unable to visit before last Thursday’s deadline for political campaigns.
“This is a President that did not use the immense powers that past presidents are known to have used to compromise the absolute independence INEC enjoys under him when the Commission removed the governing APC from the ballot for the governorship election in Rivers and Zamfara state.
“The former President that recently accused President Buhari of tyranny would have gone on national television to give a counter-directive which no INEC chairman or court could have done anything about, but this President took the decision with equanimity and urged APC leaders to accept it in good faith
“We also need to put it on record that the 2015 Presidential election was postponed at the discretion of the then governing PDP on security grounds, but this one was done by a commission that enjoys absolute independence at a time President Buhari and his deputy Professor Yemi Osinbajo are already on ground in Daura and Lagos respectively hoping to be at their polling centres as early as 8am to cast their ballot”
BMO however urged supporters of President Buhari to not be deterred by the contrived postponement and turn up next week Saturday to show PDP and Atiku Abubakar that there is no vacancy in Aso Rock.