Former Secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Timi Frank, has revealed that the decision to postpone Saturday’s election was taken at a secret meeting between Gen. Muhammadu Buhari and the leadership of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) recently.
According to Frank, despite denials by the Chairman of INEC, Professor Mahmood Yakubu and others who attended the secret meeting, the template designed by the APC’s leadership to rig the presidential election also included staggered and postponement of elections to frustrate the Nigerian voter.
In a statement made available to newsmen in Abuja on Sunday, Frank said that Nigerians and the international community should disregard what he (Frank) described as ‘lip service’ to the disappointment caused as a result of Saturday’s postponement of the presidential and National Assembly elections by the credited to the presidency.
He condemned in strong terms the desperation of the Governor of Kaduna State, Nasir El-rufai who lied that 66 persons mostly Fulanis were allegedly killed by unidentified gunmen in the state on the eve of the postponed elections in order to provoke chaos and force cancellation of poll results in the state.
He stated that the reported case of 16 bags of already thumb-printed 3.3 million ballot paper in favour of the ruling party allegedly going to Kano and many other states, calls for concern on the readiness of the APC’s leadership for the election.
“I have been vindicated on my earlier revelation about the INEC’s secret meeting with Gen Buhari,” said the Bayelsa-born political activist.
The former APC’s Deputy National spokesman said Professor Yakubu’s insistence that he would conduct the election in just one day was against the rigging template of the leadership of the APC, hence the frontal attacks against him by the presidency and the National Chairman of the APC, Adams Oshiomhole.
While calling on Nigerians to resist any attempt to impose a former INEC’s head of logistic, Hajia Amina Zakari, as the electoral umpire, Frank urged Prof Yakubu to remain resolute in the face of intimidation and blackmail by the APC’s leaders.
“Intelligence at my disposal presently indicates that the presidency and some APC leaders are no longer comfortable with Prof. Yakubu’s headship of INEC but they should bear it in mind that INEC is a constitutionally guaranteed independent body.
“Nigerians must be prepared to resist imposition of Amina Zakari as the new chairman of INEC,” he stated.
On the readiness of Gen. Buhari to relinquish power if defeated, Frank expressed worry over the kind of statements credited to the president in a recent interview with CNN, where the former military ruler said ‘nobody can unseat me.’
“Gen. Buhari is yet to come to terms with democratic processes. His recent comment has shown that he is a sit tight leader at heart, doing everything possible to repeat what he did in 1983,” he said.
Frank therefore called on the international community to continue to keep an eye on the process leading to the elections, to avoid chaos in Africa’s most populous country.
He also urged Nigerian voters not to be discouraged but angrily use their PVCs on the 23rd of February to end the reign of impunity and lifelessness by APC-led administration.