There are indications that the chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, has been compromised in respect of conducting the 2019 general elections, impeccable sources have revealed.
The revelation came on the heels of the postponement of the elections by a week from Saturday, February 16 based on logistical challeges allegedly faced by the electoral commission occasioned by bad weather and sabotage.
However, there are misgivings and dissatisfaction within tjr political circle as there are accusations and counter-accusations between the two leading political parties – All Progressives Congresss (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
But the head of the commission may be acting a script as people in charge of relevant agencies responsible for INEC logistics have denied the logistics claim, saying the nation’s weather was good days to the scheduled day of the elections and the airports were ordered to operate 24 hours in order to deliver critical electoral materials across the country.
The Minister of State for Transportation (Aviation), Hadi Sirika and the leadership of the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) have all put a lie to the INEC chairman’s claim of bad weather as one of the reasons for the election postponement.
Also, Prof Yakubu has been acting alone within the INEC structure, thereby sidelining the most experienced National Commissioners – Mr Lekki and Hajiya Amina Zakari – while working with a close knit group that has be compromised by the opposition.
“Professor Ibeano is said to be closely coordinating with Professor Chidi Odinkalu and indeed, the six-point plan of the INEC chairman was never discussed within INEC or with his commissioners,” one of the sources revealed.
It also been discovered that since the stakeholders meeting pf last Saturday, the chairman is yet to meet his team as the national commissioners were at home on Sunday despite efforts to keep the situation room open.
Insider sources confided in our reporter that the INEC chairman is working against the ruling APC, saying that the logistics issue and trying to hold elections without adequate preparations were designed to suppress APC votes and it took the insistence of some national commissioners, who are disposed to the fair conduct of the polls, to ensure the postponement was done in order to demobilise saboteurs.
“Initially, their goal was to force elections with shoddy logistics and announce results with high degree of low turnouts from APC strongholds.
“Interestingly, the INEC chairman has been sitting at the Abuja Airport since Friday. No one knows what he is clearing and for what. It means there is a possibility that alternative election materials are being cleared as all clearings have been concluded since and INEC is not using Abuja airport as major incoming hub. Indeed nothing can be done at airport that can’t be done elsewhere under these circumstances,” another source said.
Meanwhile, Prof Yakubu’s express pronouncement on Saturday that there is no more campaigns by the political parties is another cause for concern, as there are indications that it might be a kind of fait accompli regarding the election results.
“If he (INEC chairman) is not compromised, why will he do that? Campaigns can only stop 24 hours to the elections as specified by the Electoral Act. So, why he is going against the law if there is no deal with some people against others,” he added.