By John Alechenu, ABUJA
The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, has described the promise by the chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, to deliver credible governorship polls on Saturday, as medicine after death.
Atiku spoke through his Special Assistant on Public Communication, Phrank Shaibu, in a statement in Abuja, yesterday.
Shaibu said Yakubu, had in a meeting with Resident Electoral Commissioners promised to ensure the strict use of the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System, BVAS,.
He quoted Yakubu to have said: “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 wrong-doing has been established,” the INEC boss stated on Saturday.”
Shaibu further 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 February 25 poll.
The Atiku aide also commended the United States Ambassador to Nigeria, Mary Beth Leonard, for admitting that the elections were far below the expectations of Nigerians.
He stated: “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.
‘Full results still not on INEC’s portal’
“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 apologies, the INEC chairman is trying to shift the 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. Professor Yakubu should hide his face in shame.”
Certificate of Return like World Cup trophy to me —Tinubu
The President-Elect, Bola Tinubu, has described the Certificate of Return presented to him by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, as a “World Cup” trophy
Tinubu spoke during his visit to the palace of HRH Rilwan Akiolu, Oba of Lagos, Lagos
Last week, INEC announced Tinubu, candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), as the winner of the presidential election conducted on February 25.
Mahmood Yakubu, INEC chairman, said Tinubu polled 8,794,726 votes. Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) had the second-highest figure with 6,984,520 votes, while Peter Obi of the Labour Party (LP) was next with 6,101,533 votes.
Speaking at the palace, Tinubu, who promised not to disappoint Nigerians, said: “To all the monarchies seated, may God provide you with strong health. God will not allow our country to perish. We will not be used as a tool to disgrace you. I will not let you down,” he said.
“The journey that we embarked upon and we have returned home with a certificate — it is like our own World Cup and I thank you all for the effort.”
On his part, Oba of Lagos praised the president-elect as a special breed “who is destined for leadership at the very top”.
Dignitaries present at the palace included Babajide Sanwo-Olu, governor of Lagos, Femi Pedro, former deputy governor of Lagos; Muiz Banire, former commissioner for environment, and Jumoke Okoya-Thomas, APC Lagos women leader.
Others are Saheed Elegushi, oba of Ikate-Elegushi Kingdom, and Omogbolahan Lawal, oniru of Iruland.
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