INEC under Buhari has failed again! By Audu O. Audu

By Amako Nneji December 15, 2015 10:53

INEC under Buhari has failed again! By Audu O. Audu

The electoral perversity and household name of “inconclusive’’ imported into the Nigeria electoral lexicon by President Muhammadu
Buhari after two state elections conducted under his watch have compromised the “integrity” of the institution.

The appointment of Mahmood Yakubu as Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, by Buhari marked the first time a sitting President appointed his ethnic kinsman to head the electoral umpire, thus upsetting the age-old geo political/sectional balance that had always prevailed.

INEC under Buhari has failed the litmus test by failing to conduct a credible and conclusive election in Kogi and Bayelsa states.

“Did Jonathan take free and fair elections with him when he left Aso Villa for Otuoke?” is one pertinent question Nigerians keep repeating.

This is an interesting turnaround especially after the success of the General elections that Buhari’s party lauded so much.

In highly populated states that were riddled with insurgents, elections were held without any declared inconclusive so what has
changed?

How is it that the much heralded counter terrorism expert turned INEC Boss could not conduct hitch free elections in just two states?

“If in three days, INEC could not conduct credible election in Bayelsa State of just eight local governments, one wonders what will happen during the general elections in 2019,” Ekiti Governor and resident thorn in the flesh of the President, Ayodele Fayose poignantly queried.

He added: “Everything under Buhari is becoming inconclusive. The simple reality is that INEC under this Buhari’s kinsman, Yakubu, who is fast becoming the classical example of incompetence, cannot guarantee free and fair elections in this country.” Ouch.

The tragi-comedy that played out in Bayelsa has again exposed the underbelly of the unsettled polity Buhari seems bent on overseeing.

It was marred with electoral violence despite the presence of security officers.

In Kogi, the results of the November 21, 2015 elections were being collated for final announcements when the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Audu Abubakar, passed on with a lead of roughly 41, 000 votes.

Since then the drama that unfolded before Yahaya Bello was eventually selected by the APC remains a huge stain on INEC’s grades.

The swiftness with which the Attorney General of the Federation gave the APC an assist by citing irrelevant laws was a huge egg in the face situation.

More embarrassing was the fact that the compliance with his pronouncement betrayed the possible maneuvering from the highest
quarters to create a constitutional crisis that would linger for several months to come.

There are bigger assignments ahead for Yakubu and his team. Will he keep allowing shooting himself in the foot till 2019 becomes a
monumental failure? We are all watching.