Reports have emerged over an alleged fresh plot to remove the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu before the 2023 elections.
The Coalition of United Political Parties (CUPP) has raised an alarm over the allegation of Yakubu’s removal, saying the move is to undermine the 2023 general election. Naija News gathered that the coalition, which made the allegation during a press conference on Wednesday in Abuja, comprises the majority of the opposition political parties in the country. According to the CUPP Chairman, Ikenga Ugochinyere, who spoke on behalf of the opposition parties, the coalition had also discovered fresh plots to deactivate the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) from being used in the election and ultimately stop the electronic transmission of results at the polls. He alleged that the plot was being planned by a top member of the ruling All Progressives Congress(APC) in the South-East region of the party. The coalition had during its last press conference fingered Governor Hope Uzodimma of Imo State in an alleged voter registration fraud in the state, prompting a response from INEC. Ugochinyere said the text they got read “We have been tipped off by our intelligence both inside the APC and the camp of the Governors in the conspiracy, and we can state that the opposition is in receipt of information that the INEC leadership, especially senior officials, are being put under immense pressure to abandon the use of the BVAS machine, result transmission and in particular to deactivate the BVAS from the server, an alleged dangerous request which if ever granted under any circumstances can throw Nigeria into pre and post-election crises and will be unacceptable to Nigerian voters, especially the youths who have renewed confidence in the electoral process. “We are also informed that there is a plot to cause a leadership change in the Commission’s top hierarchy and cause a sweeping change with less than 140 days to the elections. The alleged plan to remove Prof. Mahmood Yakubu and top officials of INEC is a no-go area. The political parties in the country will not accept it. This alleged plot has been coordinated by some APC chieftains and Governors led by a controversial South-East APC Governor. If this plot is not crushed, it can discredit our election and throw Nigeria into crisis. Our institution can’t be destroyed for one man’s quest or a group of people to keep what was hijacked from the people.” Meanwhile, INEC has earlier announced the removal of 2.7 million voters from its database over double and invalid voter registrations. Naija News reported that the INEC Chairman, Mahmood Yakubu, stated this on Tuesday at the National Endowment for Democracy event in the United States. Yakubu disclosed that the electoral agency has conducted a comprehensive clean-up of the registration data using the automated biometric identification system (ABIS). He said following the suspension of the Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) exercise, INEC removed those who registered twice, those who are underage, and those who had no reason to register as provided by law. He said: “Many citizens seized the opportunity for the online pre-registration during the period of one year between June 2021 and June 2022. Similarly, the physical registration continued simultaneously with the online registration for a period of one year including a one-month extension in response to appeals by citizens. “At the end of the exercise, 12,298,944 citizens completed their registration. This is more than the entire voter population in the republic of Gambia, Guinea Bissau, Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Cape Verde. “We have completed the cleaning up of the data using the automated biometric identification system (ABIS) — those who registered twice, those who are underage, and those who had no reason to register as provided by law have been weeded out. “This exercise has been completed a few days ago and we have 2.7 million invalid registrants that were weeded out. We’ll continue to take whatever step is necessary to protect the integrity of the register of voters because it is fundamental to the conduct of credible elections.” Speaking further, Yakubu said new Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) would be made available by November, adding that about 50% of the new PVCs are ready but yet to be distributed to collection centres.
This article was originally published on Naija News