An elder statesman, Professor Ben Nwabueze SAN, has alleged that President Muhammadu Buhari started preparing grounds to rig the 2019 elections since by the appointment of Muslims as the head of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.
Nwabueze, in a statement he issued yesterday, lamented that Buhari appointed Northerners, Mahmood Yakubu, and Amina Zakari as INEC Chairman and acting chairman respectively.
The statement reads partly: “The Commission is constituted and designated as an agency, not of the Executive, but of the National Assembly, to which it is made accountable and must report its activities and the performance of its functions at least once a year, which implies that its members owe their tenure of office to the Assembly.
“By the express injunction of the Constitution, “no person or organ of state may interfere with the functioning of the Commission”. The members too are expressly enjoined to be impartial and to “exercise their powers and perform their functions without fear, favour or prejudice.
“After nearly four years in office, President Buhari has shown no consciousness or concern about the cruciality of the matter, not to talk of taking any action to address it. He is content to install as Chairman of INEC on 21 October, 2015, a fellow Muslim from Bauchi State in the far North, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, an outstanding historian and intellectual, replacing Amina Zakari, a lady and a Muslim northerner, whose appointment as acting chairman generated so much controversy.
“By these appointments, President Buhari is seen as preparing the ground for manipulating the 2019 election. In this connection, it may be recalled that Amina Zakari succeeded Professor Attahiru Jega, another Muslim northerner.”