By JACOB ONJEWU DICKSON
The Special Assistant on Public Communication to Waziri Atiku Abubakar, Mr. Phrank Shaibu, has alleged that the electoral misconduct perpetrated by the Adamawa Resident Electoral Commission, Hudu Yunusa-Ari, is nothing different from what the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Mahmood Yakubu, did during the Presidential polls.
Yunusa-Ari had on Sunday, announced Senator Aishatu Ahmed Binani, the APC governorship candidate in Adamawa, as the winner of the election even while the results were still being collated.
The Adamawa REC has since been suspended by the headquarters of the commission while the announcement of the results has been postponed indefinitely.
Responding in a statement, however, Shaibu said the national leadership of INEC could not pretend to be unaware of the many allegations hanging on the neck of the Adamawa REC.
Shaibu added that the suspension of the Adamawa REC without his arrest and prosecution was merely a slap in the wrist.
“It is crystal clear even to the blind that the Adamawa REC learnt well from the INEC Chairman. INEC as an organization, from the top to the bottom is akin to Ali Baba and the 40 thieves. As a matter of fact, the baby goat learns to eat grass by diligently watching the mama devour the lush grass around them”.
He said, “Over a month ago, Sahara Reporters published an audio clip where the Adamawa REC was heard directing an election official, Hammajam Mohammed, to rig the governorship election in favour of Binani.
“In the leaked audio, Yunusa told Mohammed to do everything humanly possible to make Binani win. He told the electoral official that he was instructed by a higher authority to make Binani win. Governor Ahmadu Fintiri complained severally about the compromised REC but INEC did nothing about it.
“Despite having over one month to prepare for this supplementary poll, INEC retained this compromised REC who went ahead to undermine the election once more. From all that has happened, it is obvious that Yunusa-Ari was acting on orders from above and that is why Governor Ahmadu Fintiri’s warnings were ignored.
“This carefully orchestrated action is a reflection of the electoral heist of February 25, 2023 when the INEC Chairman, Mahmood Yakubu, decided to announce Bola Tinubu of the APC as winner despite the many irregularities and complaints from several opposition parties. Indeed, Yunusa-Ari acted like his father and boss, Mahmood Yakubu.”
Atiku’s aide said the Adamawa fiasco came as no surprise since INEC had always been in bed with Binani and had even admitted in a statement that it awarded a contract to one of her companies.
He added, “INEC had in a statement by National Commissioner, Festus Okoye, admitted to awarding a sensitive contract to the Binani Printing Press Limited, a firm owned by the APC governorship candidate.
“In the statement, Okoye had claimed that the company was awarded the contract as a way of stimulating the economy and encouraging Nigerian enterprise. It is obvious that Binani and INEC are in bed together.”
Shaibu said Yakubu’s name had become a by-word for scorn after conducting the most flawed election in the history of Nigeria.
Atiku’s aide wondered why INEC under the leadership of Yakubu had failed to deliver a credible poll despite receiving the largest budget ever.
He added, “How will Mahmood Yakubu be remembered? Well, Nigerian singers like Falz and Vector have already composed a song titled Yakubu so that generations unborn will remember the sort of character he is. The video alone has garnered over one million views on Youtube and has become a social media sensation.
“This is a man who promised over and over again to upload the results of elections in real-time unto the INEC’s portal and failed to do so yet he lacks the decency to apologise to over 200 million people. Nearly two months after that shambolic election, all the results have yet to be uploaded.
“Results from Rivers State even show that Tinubu did not even win in that state. Rather than suspend the announcement of results, Mr Yakubu decided to announce Tinubu as the winner. One wonders how such a man sleeps at night.”