From Okwe Obi, Abuja
The Inter Party Advisory Council (IPAC), has claimed that corrupt politicians plotting to rig next month’s poll were behind the travails of the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, aimed at removing him from office.
Yakubu was summons in Suit No: FCT/HC/GAR/CV/47/2022, at the High Court, Abuja, by one Somadike Uzoabaka against the Attorney General of the Federation and Professor Mahmood Yakubu, seeking an order of mandatory injunction directing him to step down for allegedly failing to declare his assets at the Code of Conduct Bureau as required by law.
But Justice Maryam Hassan squashed the allegations of false assets declaration and stopped security agents from investigating him.
National Secretary of IPAC, Yusuf Mamman Dantalle, at a press briefing yesterday in Abuja, who passed a vote of cofidence on the electoral umpire and Justice Hassan, said the unnamed politicians were displeased with INEC’s arrangements towards conducting a credible poll especially its decision to deploy the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS), and verification of the authenticity of the Permanent Voter’s Card (PVCs).
Dantalle frowned at incessant attacks on the commission’s offices in Zamfara, Imo, Ebonyi, Ogun, Osun, Anambra, Akwa Ibom, Jigawa, FCT, Ondo, Abia States, resulting in the destruction of PVCs, ballot boxes, voting cubicles, megaphones, generators, election bags, water storage tanks among others.
“The Inter Party Advisory Council (IPAC) held an Emergency General Assembly meeting today on crucial national issues and evaluated emerging threats to the 2023 general election, particularly the grand plots by anti- democratic forces to remove the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu from office on frivolous allegations of false assets declaration few weeks to the general election, attacks on the commission’s offices in some parts of the country which destroyed sensitive, non-sensitive electoral materials and other property including Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs), ballot boxes, voting cubicles, megaphones, electric power generators, election bags, water storage tanks, office furniture and fixtures in Zamfara, Imo, Ebonyi, Ogun, Osun, Anambra, Akwa Ibom, Jigawa, FCT, Ondo, Abia States etc. and campaign violence.
“Despite these unprecedented attacks on its facilities and the huge costs in replacing them immediately as time is of the essence, INEC has remained resolute, undaunted and courageous in deploying technology in the conduct of free, fair, credible, transparent and inclusive general election leading to peaceful transfer of power.
“INEC’s position on deployment of technology in the conduct of the 2023 general election is in tandem with the stance of IPAC.
“Accordingly, the entire political Chairmen under the umbrella of Inter Party Advisory Council (IPAC) reaffirms its confidence in the Independent National Electoral Commission led by Professor Mahmood Yakubu to conduct the 2023 general election.
“IPAC is satisfied with the preparations, arrangements and measures taken so far by the commission to conduct free, fair, credible and transparent, inclusive, peaceful and generally acceptable elections, particularly its decision to deploy the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS), an electronic device designed to read permanent voter cards and authenticate voters using the voters’ fingerprints.
“It is this improved technology in the conduct of elections that triggered attacks on INEC facilities and grand plots to remove its chairman few weeks to the Presidential and National Assembly elections slated for 25th February 2023, by those who benefited from grossly flawed elections and want to maintain the status quo that impeded the nation’s democracy and impoverished the populace,” he said.
He called on the Department of State Services, (DSS), Police Force, National Intelligence Agency (NIA), to put an end to widespread killings and kidnapping, adding that the peace accord signed by political actors was not yielding the desired result.
“We are deeply concern about the level of insecurity in the country spreading in most of the states, where the Governors are using sponsored taut to stop and destroy campaign materials and the party offices of the opposition political parties in their respective states while the security agencies are helpless despite the assurances from the IGP, DG, SSS, NIA assuring all parties, and warning the Governors from destroying and stopping the activities of all the party candidates.
“To make the matter worse, all party signed the peace Accord to abide by the code of conduct for a peaceful conduct of campaign during the election. So far, the peace accord signed by the parties appear not to be effective because nobody is calling the actors to order.”