Immediate past governor of Ekiti state, Ayodele Fayose has claimed that the All Progressives Congress (APC) led federal government was mounting pressure on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu to ensure that APC fields candidates in Zamfara State.
He said President Muhammadu Buhari’s relation, Amina Zakari was already being positioned to replace Yakubu should he refuse to “play ball on Zamfara.”
Speaking through his Media Aide, Lere Olayinka, in a release issued on Saturday evening, Fayose said; “It is now getting clearer that APC desperation to have candidates in Zamfara State is one of the main reasons for the postponement.”
The former governor said Nigerians should not forget the letter written to INEC by the Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, directing the commission to postpone elections in Zamfara State so as to allow APC to field candidates.
“Since Professor Mahmood has made it clear that the election coming up next Saturday, is not a fresh process and there will be no campaign, bringing in candidates that were not part of the election that should have held today will also negate the position of INEC.
“Putting pressure on the INEC Chairman and threatening him with sack just to force the commission to accept APC candidates for Zamfara state is evil and unacceptable.”
The former governor said rather than blame the INEC Chairman, President Buhari’s should be blamed for deliberately orchestrating the elections postponement, adding that “INEC don’t control the Central Bank of Nigeria, the Aviation agencies as well as security apparatus in Nigeria.
“If there is anyone to be blamed for this dying minute postponement, it should be the President and if anyone needs to resign, it should be President Buhari,” he said.
Meanwhile, Opposition political parties under the aegis of Coalition of United Political Parties (CUPP), have also accused President Muhammadu Buhari of plots to suspend Prof Yakubu, and replace him with Amina Zakari.
CUPP cautioned against the alleged move and vowed that any such thing will be resisted by all well meaning Nigerians and the international community.
Amina Zakari is said to be a blood relation to President Buhari, a claim the Presidency has since refuted but accepted she is related to the President through an inter-marriage which occurred in their extended families.
CUPP explained that Buhari wants to bring Mrs. Zakari, as acting chairman of INEC under the guise of the commission’s inability to conduct the presidential and National Assembly elections on Saturday.
This was contained in a statement by CUPP first national spokesman, Imo Ugochinyere.
He said, “The Coalition of United Political Parties is alerting the world of plan and decision by President Muhammadu Buhari to announce the suspension of the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Mahmood Yakubu, from office.
“The President has also pencilled down Amina Zakari for appointment as the Acting Chairman citing her experience as the oldest and most experienced National Commissioner of the Commission.
“The President is planning to use the excuse of inability to hold election today as a reason for the imminent suspension”.