Like his predecessor before him, Atahiru Jega, who had announced a skewed allotment of ‘new Polling Booths’, allocating much more of such booths to areas in Nigeria’s North East region where Boko Haram were supposedly in control of than was allocated to entire regions in the South and had also announced the discarding of the use of PVC Cards mid-way into the 2015 Presidential election (an announcement that was deliberately ‘heard and implemented’ by INEC officials mainly in some sections of the country), Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Mr. Mahmood Yahaya, buoyed by a feeling of impunity, has announced his ‘Golden Rigging Bullet’ well in advance of the elections – allowing so-called Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) resident in camps in Chad and Niger Republic to vote during the forthcoming 2019 general elections.
With the security forces already stretched to their limits guarding and protecting the 120,000+ polling booths across the 36 States and Abuja, pray, who will guard and protect these imaginary polling booths in IDP Centres in Chad and Niger? The Chadian and Nigerien Gendarmes? Will agents of opposition political parties be allowed exit Nigeria (considering the borders are usually closed for the periods of elections) to monitor the polling centres in Chad and Niger Republics’? Where these opposition party agents are even allowed to travel out of Nigeria to those polling centres located in foreign countries, will the authorities of Chad and Niger allow these opposition party agents to enter these IDP Camps to observe and monitor the elections for their parties?
Wonderful. Brazen plan to heist spurious votes.
The IDP population has been a popular tool of embezzlement of public and international donor funds throughout the course of the Buhari administration. From the infamous multimillion dollar ‘contracts’ for grass-cutting contracts supervised by former Secretary to the Federal Government, Babachir Lawal; to the illegal approval of billions of Naira by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, ostensibly for ‘emergency interventions’ in IDP Camps; to disappearance of thousands of bags of rice and other relief materials meant for the IDPs, donated by friendly governments and international relief organizations. One only wonders what will be the fate of the millions of ballot papers to be ‘allocated’ to the IDP Camps in Niger and Chad Republics.
In his folly, the INEC Chairman and his gang failed to realize that these ‘Nigerian’s in IDP camps in Niger and Chad Republics’ (whose numbers supposedly range anywhere from 0 – 7 million) also constitute Nigerians in Diaspora. If Nigerians in Chad and Niger Republics are allowed to vote, then all Nigerians in Diaspora (inclusive of those in Europe, the USA, Asia and so on) MUST be allowed to vote.
Dear INEC Chairman, Mahmood Yahaya, with this skewed plan to allow IDPs vote, you have been caught red-handed with your hands in the cookie jar. Coupled with the fact of your filial relationship with the incumbent occupier of the Office of President of the Federal Republic, the only honourable option left to you now, if indeed you had one iota of care for the sanctity of the 2019 general elections, is to resign your position as INEC Chairman, and allow for an unbiased truly independent umpire to superintend over the said elections.