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CPC cabal in APC takes over INEC ahead 2023 polls, recruits party loyalists to key positions

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INEC boss, Professor Mahmood Yakubu

There may be great danger ahead of the 2023 elections as investigation has uncovered a three-pronged plan by the defunct Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) wing of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) to undermine the will of voters, Sahara Reporters reports.

It was learnt that the plan involves capturing the structure of the National Commissioners and State Resident Electoral Commissioners of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) nominated by APC chieftains, as well as the recently effected strategic removal and deployment of pliant and corrupt INEC top directors.

Enthusiasm has returned to elections because the average citizen unlike in past elections is eagerly looking forward to the 2023 elections to vote in the hope that the 2022 Electoral Act and the use of new ICT technology such as the BVAS (Bimodal Voter Accreditation System) and electronic uploading and transmission of polling unit results openly and immediately to the INEC public result-viewing portal should make their votes count this time round.

However, the APC, mainly the CPC wing and its regional loyalists have quietly spread their control within INEC from the head office in Abuja to the state offices, effecting strategic deployments that will help to upturn votes or create inconclusive scenarios which will be further exploited using force or farcical run-off elections.

Sahara Reporters quoting inside sources in INEC said that Professor Mahmoud Yakubu leadership of the commission and hand-picked national commissioners have been unhappy over their inability to swing the outcome of recent elections in favour of APC except in the Ekiti governorship election. It was also learnt that on the basis of the agreement Yakubu entered to secure his reappointment, he has been under pressure to deliver or huge financial corruption allegations will be used against him.

An instance was during the Osun governorship election, when results in the INEC situation room were showing that the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) was leading, SaharaReporters learnt from an inside source that Yakubu was visibly worried. He was said to be agitated and going back and forth to his office, receiving and making calls from APC leaders, who were passing instructions regarding what to do to avert the outcome. But unlike the 2018 situation, the new process of uploading election results from the polling units and the use of the BVAS saved the popular will of the people of Osun state and not INEC leadership.

The obligation to deliver on the promise made by Yakubu was also said to be the reason for the controversy surrounding the status of APC aspirants who didn’t participate in various primaries monitored by its state offices.

And this was justified to many bewildered Nigerians by Festus Okoye, National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, who is neck-deep in the entire compromise, when he said Resident Electoral Commissioner (RECs) are not recognised members of INEC and that their reports on primaries can be rejected.

It was also learnt that this led to sudden and strange redeployments in INEC that is now wearing the toga of SIECs being under the control of state governors.

Plans by the APC to take full control of the structures of INEC for the 2023 elections first came to prominence during the nomination of Ms. Lauretta Onochie, a well-known spokesperson for the APC president, Muhammadu Buhari and a card-carrying member of the party from Delta state.

It was attempt that was too brazen for the public to accept as it attracted a lot of furore. Although the public backlash resulted in the eventual pressure on the Senate to drop her, it was also a disguise for the CPC hawks as all public attention was focused on Ms Onochie while the other nominees loyal to the APC were largely ignored, and successfully got the Senate confirmation.

The level of independent mindedness and patriotism exhibited by some commissioners during the 2015 and 2019 elections gave the APC hawks sleepless nights as it was not possible to sway and influence all national and resident electoral commissioners.

Therefore, some electoral commissioners, particularly those from the Attahiru Jega’s years in INEC and those appointed after 2015 such as AVM Muazu, Engr. Abubakar Nahuche, Professor Okey Nbeanu and experienced RECs serving their second term like Mallam Sadiq Abubakar, Kashim Gaidam, Jibril Zarewa, Professor Riskuwa, Barr. Mike Igini (who has been a torn in the flesh of corrupt politicians), and Mallam Makama, the outgone REC of Yobe, who demonstrated integrity by refusing to back-date a report intended to make the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, a senatorial candidate, have all been eased out of INEC through the attrition of tenureship.

All these individuals who were firm in the past and ought to have been elevated as National Commissioners have all been quietly eased out of the commission.

In their stead, to ensure that the CPC wing of the APC and their loyalists held sway completely at INEC, a recent final phase of nominees and deployments that will align to their future electoral plans have been nominated to lead state offices of INEC as RECs.


Source: Newsband

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