Underaged voting: PDP seeks resignation of INEC Chairman, Mahmood Yakubu

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has passed a vote of no confidence on the chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Mahmood Yakubu over incidences of underaged voting in the just-concluded local government election in Kano State.

It therefore asked the chairman to resign. The 2019 election is less than a year away.

Addressing a press conference in Abuja on Tuesday, National Publicity Secretary of the party, Kola Ologbondiyan, condemned the electoral body for refusing to take decisive steps to correct the anomalies in the voters register.

The party therefore called for the immediate revalidation of voters register in Kano and Katsina States.

“INEC under the current leadership of Professor Mahmoud Yakubu cannot be trusted to conduct free and fair 2019 exercise.

“Nigerians have completely lost confidence in INEC under Yakubu and we urge him to take the path of honour and do the needful before it becomes too late,” Ologbondiyan stated.

He emphasised that the sanitization of the voters register must be carried out under the supervision of all political
parties, credible associations, reputable Non-Governmental Organisations as well as the international community.

The party also faulted the call by the electoral body, asking the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to partner with it to monitor campaign finances ahead of the 2019 general elections.

The opposition party described the call as an abdication of responsibility on the part of the Commission, adding that such functions are within the purview of the electoral umpire, as stipulated in the 2010 Election Act (as amended).

“Also, the plan by INEC to ask EFCC to help them monitor campaign funds is clearly an illegal and Machiavellian way of suppressing opposition’s financial contribution and spending. It is a plot to detain, defame, intimidate and illegally block bank accounts of opposition members under the pretext that they have been mandated by INEC to monitor campaign funds.

“It is trite law that ‘delegatus non potest delegare’. INEC and only INEC has the statutory duty to monitor campaign funds. The commission cannot delegate this function to any other government agency.

“Nigerians have completely lost confidence in INEC under Mahmood Yakubu and we urge him to take the path of honour and do the needful before it becomes too late,” he stated.

He also raised the alarm over plans by the APC-led Federal Government to manipulate performance indices in critical sectors of the economy to hoodwink Nigerians ahead of the 2019 general elections.

The government, he alleged, is also seeking to procure international endorsement as a propaganda tool in the forthcoming poll.

The party spokesperson pointed out that agents of government have infiltrated federal ministries and agencies with fake performance figures.

His words: “We have information that forces at the Presidency and the leadership of the APC, having failed to record any meaningful achievement in their three years of failed governance, and having realized that they have nothing on which to anchor their ill-lucked 2019 re-election bid, have mobilized their agents to commence the falsification of economic and development indices across all sectors, with a view to create a false sense of performance.

“We are also privy to clandestine meetings and the engagement of certain unscrupulous Nigerians and foreign profiling firms, who have been heavily paid to fabricate, dish out and saturate our polity with fake performance indices and contrived polls in favour of the failed and incompetent Buhari-led Federal Government.

“This face-saving stunt is being coordinated by a member of the cabal in the Presidency, alongside two prominent cabinet ministers and a top member of the APC.

“As we speak, agents have infiltrated federal ministries and agencies with a view to inject fake performance figures, while the cabal is mounting pressure on statistics based organizations to manipulate performance indices in favour of the failed Presidency.

“In line with their design, in the next couple of months, the news media and the entire polity would be inundated with cooked-up indices, which will be well spiced up and heavily publicized to give unsuspecting Nigerians a false sense of hope and set the table for another round of electoral propaganda.

“Part of this plot is to falsify figures to suggest sudden economic rebound, with false and unverifiable statistics in critical sectors, particularly, agriculture, youth empowerment, health, social safety nets, security among others to hoodwink the people.

“There will also be frantic effort to lay claim on projects initiated and executed by the PDP; multiple commissioning of same projects like the railway project and the unmanned drone project in Kaduna state; awards of bogus contracts and procurement of international endorsements.

“Our take is that this resort to falsehood has clearly shown the depravity of the APC in the face of its failure. Such a trip is practically of no moment as Nigerians are now better informed and cannot be swayed by imported indices and fabricated statistics.

“We however wish to use this opportunity to alert the media, all Nigerians and the international community to, in the interest of our people, crosscheck all figures and indices coming from the Presidency, the APC and uncertified profiling agencies, who are being used by the Federal Government in this new attempt to deceive”.

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