Former Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Comrade Timi Frank, has called on the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Mahmood Yakubu and the Chief of Army Staff, to prove their neutrality on Saturday February 16 and March 2nd, by allowing for a free, fair and credible elections.
Frank in a statement Monday in Abuja, said rather than the military intimidating him by calling for his arrest, they should tell Nigerians if the the Chief of Army Staff did or did not attend a midnight meeting he referred to in his statement on Sunday.
He also called on the INEC’s chair to tell Nigerians whether it was by coincidence that he has was spotted on a national television wearing a cap with APC’s broom symbol which is nothing but a clear display of his undisguised support for President Muhammadu Buhari’s re-election bid.
Frank said: “I cannot be intimidated. I am not afraid of being arrested. Nigeria needs free, fair and credible elections necessary to ensure peace, sustain democracy and national development.
“Let me add that INEC owes Nigerians and the world a sacred duty to allow votes during the forthcoming elections to count rather that its Chairman openly taking sides by attending suspicious meetings with PMB and wearing APC’s campaign symbols.
“Let Mahmood Yakubu prove to Nigerians that he is not pro-APC by allowing for transparency and impartiality of his staff during the presidential and National Assembly Elections on Saturday 16th February and the Governorship and State Assembly elections on March 2nd.
“Let the Chief of Army Staff prove to Nigerians that the military has no role in the forthcoming elections by stoping his men from being used to intimidate and arrest opposition leaders or aid the rigging in favour of the APC.
“Let the COAS tell Nigerians that the ongoing massive deployment of military personnel to opposition strongholds across the country is not meant to intimidate opposition leaders in order to pave the way for the APC to unduly win as they did during the Ekiti and Osun states gubernatorial elections.
“I stand by my statement on the highly suspicious midnight meeting with PMB and his top aides. No amount of threat or intimidation will stop me from raising the alarm when actions inimical to the peaceful and successful conduct of the forthcoming elections come to play.
“Let me once again call on INEC to conduct a free, fair and credible elections in February 16 and March 2, 2019. I also urge the military to stir clear of politics by concentrating on their core constitutional mandate before, during and after the 2019 elections.”
Buhari’s Desperation to Win Caused Election Postponement, Says CUPP
The Coalition of United Political Parties has claimed that the desperation of President Muhammadu Buhari and his men to win the presidential election, by all means, was responsible for the last minute postponement of the election.
The coalition’s spokesman, Imo Ugochinyere, made the allegation in a statement made available to journalists in Abuja on Saturday morning.
He said, “In their bid to once again foist an unpopular government on Nigerians, they threw caution to the winds and started setting electoral materials on fire in states that are well known to be strongholds of opposition.
“These acts of sabotage, no doubt, ruined the preparations of the Independent National Electoral Commission for the elections.
“We have raised the alarm many times that agents of the government were working hard to ensure that elections are not held or are declared inconclusive in areas they know that the All Progressives Congress will never win. We have been vindicated.
We blame the international embarrassment this last minute postponement has caused the nation on the President, the desperate leaders of his party, APC, and the nation’s security agencies who failed woefully in their duties to protect electoral materials and INEC offices from attacks by these enemies of the nation.”
Ugochinyere added that with the postponement, “President Buhari’s judgement day with the people has just been shifted.”
He, however, said the INEC chairman, Prof Mahmood Yakubu, displayed courage by shifting the election.
He said the postponement averted what he could have resulted to “national bloodshed because we are aware that APC wanted to proceed with election after compromising distribution and destroying materials in over 15 states.”
PDP Asks INEC Chairman to Resign, Accuses APC of ‘Grand Conspiracy’
Uche Secondus, national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has asked Mahmood Yakubu to resign as the chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
Speaking through Ike Abonyi, his media aide, shortly after the elections were postponed by INEC, Secondus said his party was rejecting the new dates.
He said it was a “deliberate, pre-determined agenda of President Muhammadu Buhari to cling on to power even when it’s obvious to him that Nigerians want him out”.
Secondus said the postponement was part of a “grand design” by the All Progressives Congress (APC) to thwart the will of Nigerians “at all cost”.
He said the APC “in connivance with INEC have been trying all options including but not limited to burning down INEC offices in some states and destroying of electoral materials to create artificial problems upon which to stand for their dubious act”.
“With several of their rigging options failing, they have to force INEC to agree to a shift in the election or a staggered election with flimsy excuses pre-manufactured for the purpose,” he said in the statement sent to TheCable.
“For the avoidance of doubt the PDP sees this action as wicked and we are also aware of other dubious designs like the deployment of hooded security operatives who would be ruthless on the people ostensibly to scare them away.”
Secondus said the “wicked killing” of over 60 persons mostly women and children in southern Kaduna on the eve of election “is a copious ploy by the APC to frighten the people away from voting knowing too well that they were not going to record any vote from the area”.
“Recall that the Governor of Kaduna state, Mallam Nasir el-Rufai had earlier threatened international election observers of going to their country in body bags and with the fatal violence in the state on the eve of election, it’s clear what the motives are, to frighten the observers from the state so that he can carry out his nefarious acts,” he said.
The PDP chairman also drew the attention to the statement of President Muhammadu Buhari that nobody can unseat him from office as an indication of what he wanted to do.
I Haven’t Fled Nigeria —Obasanjo
Former President Olusegun Obasanjo on Friday said he has not fled Nigeria, contrary to a social media report that he had travelled out of the county ahead of the presidential election scheduled for Saturday.
Obasanjo spoke with newsmen at his Presidential Library, Abeokuta, describing the Social media post as “fake news.”
The former president was reacting to a Facebook post of one Gbenga Lawal who posted: “Breaking: Obasanjo jets out of Nigeria. He can’t even wait for the thief he is imposing on Nigerians.”
In his reaction, Obasanjo said “Why should I travel out of the country before the election?
“If not for anything, I believe I should be here to perform my civic responsibility, which is to vote according to the dictate of my heart tomorrow and on the second of March.
“Those who are carrying that type of rumour or fake news; I leave them in the hands of God; I am used to that kind of thing.
“In Yoruba land, if your head is hard, you don’t have to worry yourself.
“Let anybody tell lies against you, let anybody issue fake news against you, let anybody abuse you, God will deal with them rightly and appropriately.”
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