- The build-up to the 2023 general election is becoming more intriguing as D-day edges closer
- Professor Mahmood Yakubu, the INEC chairman for a couple of months, will become a trending topic alongside the major forerunners in the election
- However, some political juggernauts are believed not to be pleased with his rigidity as there is an ongoing plot to remove him
FCT, Abuja – An emerging report has confirmed that there are plots underground to remove the current chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Mahmood Yakubu.
DailyTrust reported that this plot was unravelled by some top dogs in the political scene, hinting that the plotters might soon strike into action.
Nigeria is four months away from deciding who succeeds President Muhammadu Buhari as the number one citizen in the country.
However, the build-up to the election has been laced with a lot of tension, intrigues, and suspense for both the electorates and other relevant stakeholders.
The electoral body has reiterated its readiness to conduct the elections by confirming the procurement of some important electoral materials.
As reported by DailyTrust, the INEC chairman insisted that the electoral body deploy the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) just like in Ondo and Ekiti gubernatorial elections.
Plot to remove Yakubu as INEC chairman
Meanwhile, Legit.ng gathered that the Coalition of United Political Parties (CUPP), in a press conference on Wednesday, October 12, raised an alarm that plots were underground to ensure the ouster of Prof Yakubu as the INEC boss.
Ikenga Ugochinyere, the coalition’s spokesperson, disclosed that there are also plots to compromise the credibility and effectiveness of the BVAS machine.
Prequel to the commencement of the CUPP press briefing, some top political players revealed that the plotters included two governors from the southeastern region and one from the northeastern region.
It is believed that these plotters are not down with using the BVAS, the electronic transmission of results, and the use of incident forms.
Pressure on Yakubu from all angles
However, Yakubu is seemingly very rigid and non-partisan. Since the conclusion of the Osun state gubernatorial polls, he has been the subject of criticism from the ruling party.
Most recently, he was entangled in a controversial asset declaration case in which a federal high court in Abuja ordered a hearing in a suit asking to compel the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) to release the assets declaration forms of the INEC chairman.
The suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/33/2021 was reported to have been filed by one Emmanuel Agonsi.
A source privy to the situation revealed that it was not the first time such a suit would be emerging.
The source said:
“There was another suit in Abakaliki. It went up to the Court of Appeal, they wanted to stop his renomination for second term. They nearly succeeded both at the level of Presidency and the National Assembly.
“He was there thinking his name would be submitted for reappointment when he was told that they had tabled the name of one professor, who was later appointed a national commissioner. When it came to the screening there was move to also block him but a presiding officer gave him a smooth sail, it is for that reason that the man now feel pained for INEC to have rejected him as candidate of his party.”
Use of BVAS cannot be reversed, says INEC
Amidst all these pressure and threats, Prof Yakubu has maintained that using the BVAS at the 2023 election remains a constant factor during the polls.
Festus Okoye, the INEC national commissioner and chairman of the information and voter education committee, also reiterated these submissions.
“The decision of the commission to introduce and use the BVAS is final and irreversible. It is backed up by the law and a substantial number of the BVAS for the 2023 elections have been delivered. The BVAS is the game changer and has buried the incident forms.
“Those engaged in identity theft should not near the polling units. Those that have stolen or bought over PVCs are out of business and should not attempt to access the PUs. The commission is focused on delivering on its mandate.
“The commission is not and will not pay attention to the negatives or the antics of those that will want to delegitimize the electoral process and the commission. The commission has reached the critical stage of the electoral process and all Nigerians, and all the critical stakeholders should join the commission in delivering a clean election.”
2023 elections: Revelations, serious fears, worry from INEC as commission delists 2.7m voters
2023 elections: INEC chairman Mahmood Yakubu to be removed? Coalition makes serious allegation as Jega reacts
In another development, INEC has deleted no fewer than 2.7 million registrants from its list over double registration, according to Prof. Yakubu Mahmood, its national chairman.
During an event on Tuesday, October 11, in the US, Mahmood also disclosed that the new PVCs will be ready before the end of 2022.
The INEC boss, on insecurity, expressed fear and worry over the safety of staff members, especially in the southeast and northwest.