Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, has lambasted Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, for promising to deliver credible governorship elections by ensuring that INEC staff found to be negligent during the presidential election would be barred from engaging in the March 11 governorship poll.
Yakubu, had in a meeting with Resident Electoral Commissioners promised to ensure the strict use of the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS).
“All staff found to be negligent, whether they are regular or ad hoc officials, including collation and returning officers, must not be involved in the forthcoming elections. RECs must also immediately initiate disciplinary action where prima facie evidence of wrongdoing has been established,” the INEC boss stated on Saturday.
In a statement, yesterday, however, Atiku’s Special Assistant on Public Communication, Mr. Phrank Shaibu, described Yakubu’s assurances as worthless and unconvincing.
He added that the INEC chairman was only trying to save face after conducting the worst elections Nigeria had ever witnessed since independence.
He asked Yakubu not to try to deceive Nigerians again after the shambolic performance of INEC in the 25 February poll.
Atiku’s aide also commended the United States Ambassador to Nigeria, Mary Beth Leonard, for admitting that the elections were far below the expectations of Nigerians.
“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 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.”