3:53 pm - Sunday March 26, 8862

NEW DEVELOPMENT ON NIGERIA’S PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION: Foreign Observer foils INEC Rigging plans in 10 states on botched election day February 16…How violence, lawlessness were prevented in 26 states *Why National Electoral Umpire postponed election, set new dates for February 23, March 9 * ‘We have No Confidence or Trust in INEC to manage any credible election’-Afenifere *’INEC plan was to manipulate the smart card readers to substance biometric, accreditation with manual verification of already pre-loaded names, thus paving way for mass rigging and allocation of fictitious votes for President Buhari and APC Candidates during the elections’-Nigeria main opposition party, PDP * “I am deeply disappointed that despite the long notice given and our preparations both locally and internationally, INEC postponed the Presidential and National Assembly elections within hours of its commencement”-President BUHARI * “The commission could not afford to be distracted by baseless allegations. The Commission was not a political party and would not allow itself to be dragged into unnecessary controversies at a time like this”-Rotimi Oyekanmi, Chief Press Secretary to INEC Chairman * ‘The upcoming elections are an opportunity for Nigeria to solidify its place as a democratic leader in Africa’-United States Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo BY NIKKY IYABODE/DIPLOMATIC REPORTER, CHESTA ILAM, POLITICAL WRITER, RILWANU AHMED, REPORTER, ABUJA & AJANI AIYEOLA/INVESTIGATIVE EDITOR, ABUJA


NEW DEVELOPMENT ON NIGERIA’S PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION:

Foreign Observer foils INEC Rigging plans in 10 states on botched election day February 16…How violence, lawlessness were prevented in 26 states

*Why National Electoral Umpire postponed election, set new dates for February 23, March 9

* ‘We have No Confidence or Trust in INEC to manage any credible election’-Afenifere

*’INEC plan was to manipulate the smart card readers to substance biometric, accreditation with manual verification of already pre-loaded names, thus paving way for mass rigging and allocation of fictitious votes for President Buhari and APC Candidates during the elections’-Nigeria main opposition party, PDP

* “I am deeply disappointed that despite the long notice given and our preparations both locally and internationally, INEC postponed the Presidential and National Assembly elections within hours of its commencement”-President BUHARI

* “The commission could not afford to be distracted by baseless allegations. The Commission was not a political party and would not allow itself to be dragged into unnecessary controversies at a time like this”-Rotimi Oyekanmi, Chief Press Secretary to INEC Chairman

* ‘The upcoming elections are an opportunity for Nigeria to solidify its place as a democratic leader in Africa’-United States Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo

BY NIKKY IYABODE/DIPLOMATIC REPORTER, CHESTA ILAM, POLITICAL WRITER, RILWANU AHMED, REPORTER, ABUJA & AJANI AIYEOLA/INVESTIGATIVE EDITOR, ABUJA

GOING BY THE LATEST CLASSIFIED INFORMATION STUMBLED UPON BY OUR REPORTERS, IT WAS CLEAR THAT CRISES AND CONFUSION WERE AVERTED IN AFRICA’S MOST POPULOUS BLACK NATION IN THE WORLD IN THE BOTCHED PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION EARLIER SLATED FOR SATURDAY FEBRUARY 16TH, 2019 IN NIGERIA, NOW RESCHEDULED FOR NEXT WEEK SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 23, 2019.

With all blames laid on the feet of Independent National electoral Commission, INEC, some officers in the zonal offices of Electoral Umpire had allegedly hatched secret plans to successfully bring in logistic materials and voting items in 26 states under the cover of darkness 72 hours to the earlier scheduled date of the presidential election. Their Plan B was to have voting materials delayed in 10 other states of the federation, thereby causing anxiety, apprehension, violence among the agitated masses.

These plans were agreed upon by these INEC Zonal officers working hand-in-hand with party agents of

All Progressives Congress (APC) since they were under serious political pressure to ensure that Nigeria incumbent president, Muhammadu Buhari was re-elected. It was discovered that some of these INEC staff involved in this scheme ensured that while making late night phone calls on Nigeria’s Global System Network provider to finalize their plans they speak in ‘coded-words’ to avoid detection. The INEC staff were allegedly assured that if they successfully carried-out the rigging and APC maintains leadership again in governance, their jobs were secured and they would be adequately rewarded with promotions.

For these reasons, INEC directed it field officers and technicians to ensure all voting materials were duly in place in 26 states of the federation as at 12midnight on Saturday February 16, while secretly mandated to delay the distribution of voting materials to the remaining 10 states seen as the strong areas where the main opposition party, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) would have had highest voting scores from the electorates.

The idea was to deliberately allow materials arrive late in 10 states to monitor the progress of results in the earlier 26 states as the people were already witnessing in some states, and INEC would have no option but to postpone elections in the country due to the late arrival of ballot boxes in those 10 states.

Naija Standard observed that a day earlier, INEC aircraft that was supposed to deliver materials to Enugu state (one of the 10 states) was told it can’t land because of bad weather conditions and it had to land in Port-Harcourt.

For the avoidance of doubt, while election would have held in 26 states, the plan was to watch out for the outcome. If it favours Atiku Abubakar, the presidential flagbearer of PDP in whatever margin, INEC machinery would have deployed heavy security agents to ensure they get enough votes to cover up the margin in the 10 states that elections were to be postponed.

Additional plans was to play up the sensation news of Kaduna State killings where 66 people died some days ago as been part of the plan to create an atmosphere of catastrophic so that INEC would postpone the election, having coincided with few offices of INEC already burnt down across the country. The late arrival of election materials and security crisis in the 10 states would have given an automatic victory to APC in all levels.

But one of the Foreign election observers (names withheld) who understands Nigeria’s Hausa language while on inspection of voting materials in the 26 states overhead two INEC staff discussing in hush tones their final plans to allegedly manipulate the election as explained above purposely for their concluded agenda, even without considering the lawlessness that may cause to the polity and national security.

The Foreign election observer alerted a top high-ranking INEC official in the electoral umpire’s headquarters in Abuja, where she narrated all she heard, immediately orders were placed to the zonal officers in those 10 states to ‘neutralize their plans’, as the information had already leaked. These actions led INEC to summon emergency meeting after which the elections were postponed to February 23 and March 9 respectively.

INEC reacts to PDP allegation of rigging:

INEC has reacted to the allegations made by PDP against the electoral body of plans to rig the 2019 election. The PDP in a statement on Monday insisted that the leadership of the INEC was under pressure to rig the 2019 general elections for President Muhammadu Buhari and the APC.

Kola Ologbondiyan, PDP National Publicity Secretary claimed that INEC chairman, Yakubu Mahmood has been penciled down for the “Onnoghen treatment”. He said: “The INEC has been conducting general elections since the past 20 years. During this time, especially since 2010 and particularly from 2015, the commission hasintroduced many innovations to improve the electoral system.

“One of such innovations is to ensure that no member of any political party is engaged to participate in the conduct of elections.”

Kola insisted that INEC has allegedly been taking directives from Buhari Presidency and the APC on how to manipulate our electoral process at various levels.

Reacting to the allegations, the Chief Press Secretary to INEC Chairman, Mr Rotimi Oyekanmi, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the commission could not afford to be distracted by baseless allegations.

Oyekanmi said that the Commission was not a political party and would not allow itself to be dragged into unnecessary controversies at a time like this.

“I, therefore, call on any political party or individuals with information on how the Commission plans to or has engaged members of any political party as ad-hoc staff for the upcoming general elections to make such information public and mention specific names. It is not enough to make wild allegations. It is incumbent upon those who make such allegations to also provide the proof.”

He assured that INEC would conduct free, fair and credible general elections, and for which it needed the support of all Nigerians.”

The PDP in Delta State, on Wednesday, claimed that it had uncovered an alleged deceitful plot by INEC to manipulate and rig the forthcoming elections for President Muhammadu Buhari and APC through several devious strategies. The State Publicity Secretary of the Party, Ifeanyi Osuoza, in a statement signed alleged that the gambit of the electoral body was to stage manage the pre-loading and key in the card readers with pre-determined fictitious voters’ details before accreditation.

According to him, “Our thorough investigations revealed that the first ploy in the uncovered series stratagems to tinker with the February 16, and March 2, elections is a deceptive tactics designed to make President Muhammadu Buhari and APC candidates gain the upper hand through underhand manipulation of pre-determined names of fictitious voters.

“The import of the plot is to manipulate the smart card readers so as to substance biometric, accreditation with manual verification of already pre loaded names, thus paving way for mass rigging and allocation of fictitious votes for President Buhari and APC Candidates during the elections.

The statement further alleged that in addition to the brazen plot, it was gathered that the ultimate plan of the supposed electoral umpire was to allegedly swap the original result sheets at the collation centers, all parts of the grand desperation to manipulate the process and short change the will of the People. The statement further alleged that in addition to the brazen plot, it was gathered that the ultimate plan of the supposed electoral umpire was to allegedly swap the original result sheets at the collation centers, all parts of the grand desperation to manipulate the process and short change the will of the People.

PRESIDENT BUHARI’S REACTION:

In a statement personally signed by President Buhari on INEC postponement of the election, it reads: “I am deeply disappointed that despite the long notice given and our preparations both locally and internationally, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) postponed the Presidential and National Assembly elections within hours of its commencement. Many Nigerians have traveled to various locations to exercise their right to vote, and international observers are gathered.

“INEC themselves have given assurances, day after day and almost hour after hour that they are in complete readiness for the elections. We and all our citizens believed them. This administration has ensured that we do not interfere in any way with the work of INEC except to ensure that all funds were released to the commission.

“We now urge INEC to ensure not only that materials already distributed are safe and do not get into wrong hands, but that everything is done to avoid the lapses that resulted in this unfortunate postponement, and ensure a free and fair election on the rescheduled dates.

“While I reaffirm my strong commitment to the independence, neutrality of the electoral umpire and the sanctity of the electoral process and ballot, I urge all political stakeholders and Nigerians to continue to rally round INEC at this trying national moment in our democratic journey.

“I, therefore, appeal to all Nigerians to refrain from all civil disorder and remain peaceful, patriotic and united to ensure that no force or conspiracy derail our democratic development. I have decided to move back to Abuja to ensure that the 14.00 hrs meeting called by INEC with all stakeholders is successful.

AFENIFERE REACTS:

The pan-Yoruba socio-cultural group, Afenifere, has expressed dissatisfaction with INEC level of preparedness to conduct a free, fair and credible elections in the country. A leader of the group, Ayo Adebanjo, stated this while speaking with journalists. Adebanjo who called for an outright change in the leadership of INEC, stressed that it was impossible for the head of an electoral umpire appointed by one of the presidential candidates to be impartial in the conduct of the 2019 general elections.

According to him, “We have said it before that we don’t have any trust in INEC as it is presently constituted. In fact, we are of the view that the whole team should be disbanded. For us to have a free and fair election, there should be no relation of a contestant in the presidential election in INEC’s leadership.

A statement by the Special Adviser to the Bayelsa Governor on Media Relations, Fidelis Soriwei, said the Afenifere chieftain also restated the group’s commitment to the ongoing struggle for the restructuring of the country.

Adebanjo called on Nigerians to vote for the PDP candidate, Atiku Abubakar, in the forthcoming presidential elections for the country to remain united in peace and make progress.

AMERICA’S Statement on the Postponement of the Nigerian Elections:

The U.S. Embassy fully supports the joint statement by the heads of the ECOWAS and other international election observation missions on the postponement of the February 16 Nigerian elections.
We join in encouraging all Nigerians to ensure a free, fair, peaceful, and credible election by supporting the Independent National Electoral Commission while it finalizes electoral preparations this week and by voting in peace together on February 23

United States Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo said: “The upcoming elections are an opportunity for Nigeria to solidify its place as a democratic leader in Africa.”

Filed in: Politics

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply