Aggressions have enveloped the Nigerian political landscape owing to the lobbying drive of Professor Mahmood Yakubu, Independence National Electoral Commission, INEC, for reappointment. Doctor Ismaila lbrahim sketches the scenario
Aggressions are everywhere. Having failed to improve the legacy of election integrity under the Buhari era so far , with growing evidence of failed use of card readers , an effect device that brought President Buhari to power; numerous inconclusive elections and increased petitions of election results, Professor Mahmood Yakubu has embarked on a shaky campaign to regain the attention of Nigerians and elements within the Buhari’s Government to be re-appointed in order for him to be able to conduct better election in 2023.
However, some highly placed officials in government circles feel that re-appointing him will be a political liability for the government that needs to leave behind an untainted record of support for democracy which will assure President Buhari of significant democratic and global respect when he leaves office in 2023.
For this reason and mindful of the widespread dissatisfaction locally and within the international Community over the outcome of the 2019 elections that fell far below the quality and credibility of the 2015 elections, some concerned members of the Government that have the ears of the President are reported to be advising him not to make the fundamental mistake of re-appointing Yakubu in order to protect his own personal integrity. As a result, some of these officials are distancing themselves from reported efforts to influence his reappointment.
Professor Yakubu himself has deployed hundreds of millions to this re-appointment project. And this is causing aggressions in some quarters. Credible sources allege that he is using different contact groups in and out of Abuja. He is also said to be using different strategies such as car gifts to highly connected women who are close to the Villa, as well as promises of contracts to install hugely expensive e-Voting equipment to the lobbyists.
Those who have various political ambitions are also promised of INEC cooperation to secure such elective offices.
At the same time, another National Commissioner, Dr Mustapha Lecky is also said to the beneficiary of sponsored lobbying by a Senator from the South South using his office and other lobbyist in the Villa to get this National Commissioner with very low approval rating within INEC to get him appointed as a National Chairman of the Commission. These active lobbying by supposedly neutral election umpires is a major threat to Nigerian elections and democracy; that a man whose tenure is coming to an end next month wants to re-occupy such a sensitive office as an Umpire by cutting partisan and other compromising deals by making future commitments to politicians for re-appointment is deeply troubling.
Its only in Nigeria that this could happen. Elsewhere, the aggressions would cause Professor Yakubu Mahmood and Dr. Mustapha Lecky to be disqualified automatically for this level of lobbying and desperation. Many now question if the office of the Chairman of the lndependent National Electoral Commission is now for sale to the highest bidder? President Buhari will destroy his integrity and credibility if a person like this is allowed to Chair the election management body. He is a Professor of History and a lecturer at the Nigeria Defence Academy and should return to the classroom in Kaduna.
Those in government who are concerned by these developments have expressed dismay that going by such lobbying , the current Chairman and his team are undermining the integrity of INEC seeking reappointment by committing to partisan favours that will undermine the 2023 General Elections.