The Conference of Nigerian Political Parties (CNPP) and the Coalition of National Civil Society Organisations (CNCSOs) have jointly called for the resignation of Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). The CNPP and CSOs have given Prof. Yakubu a 14-day ultimatum to step down from his position or face intensified pressure through democratic and legal means.
In a strongly-worded statement issued in Abuja and signed by Chief Willy Ezugwu, the Secretary General of CNPP, and Alhaji Ali Abacha, the National Secretary of the Coalition, they expressed their dissatisfaction with the INEC Chairman’s performance. The statement cited the failure to deploy the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) despite substantial financial investment and the alleged obstruction of justice in electoral processes as primary reasons for their demand.
The CNPP and CSOs accused Prof. Yakubu of mismanaging funds allocated for the acquisition of BVAS machines, claiming an inflated amount of approximately N105.25 billion. They also criticized the Chairman for allegedly siding with the ruling party in election petition tribunals and hindering the pursuit of justice by petitioners who claimed to have been subjected to electoral fraud.
Moreover, the CNPP and CSOs highlighted the alleged failure of INEC to transmit polling unit results in real-time, despite previous promises to do so. They presented the testimony of a witness who claimed that INEC instructed its staff not to provide copies of election results to political party agents who refused to sign the results. These accusations, combined with the perceived lack of transparency and the delay in transmitting election results, have led to a loss of confidence in INEC’s integrity and independence.
The statement further revealed a controversy surrounding the procurement of BVAS machines, as the CNPP and CSOs accused Prof. Yakubu of purchasing the devices at an inflated price, exceeding the estimated market cost. They emphasized that the Chairman’s actions have eroded the credibility of the electoral process and pose a national security risk.
The CNPP and CSOs called upon the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and other anti-graft agencies to investigate the budget allocated to acquiring BVAS machines, as it exceeded the estimated cost by 30.4 percent. They also demanded the immediate resignation of Prof. Yakubu within 14 days. Should the Chairman refuse to step down, the CNPP and CSOs vowed to mobilize their state-level organs and civil society groups to take appropriate action.
The statement concluded by contrasting the promises made by Prof. Yakubu prior to the 2023 general elections, assuring free, fair, and credible elections, with the current state of affairs. The CNPP and CSOs expressed their disappointment in the Chairman’s performance, stating that he had shattered the hopes of Nigerians and caused widespread voter apathy. They believe that his continued presence in office undermines the credibility of INEC and the electoral system as a whole.
As tensions rise and controversies surround Prof. Mahmood Yakubu’s tenure as INEC Chairman, the demand for his resignation highlights the growing concerns about the conduct and transparency of electoral processes in Nigeria.