The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has disagreed with the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, that the commission is the most improved service institution in the country.
Rather, the party said INEC has become “the most debased, degraded and corrupted institution, particularly with the rigging of the 2019 presidential election.”
Yakubu had said at a post-election review session for electoral officers (EOs) in Abuja on Wednesday, that the commission is the most improved public institution in Nigeria.
He also said that INEC is rated high when compared with its counterparts in other West African countries.
“Whenever I compare what we have done with what my colleagues elsewhere have done, I sometimes say we are many countries in West Africa rolled into one.
“Given the size of our voter registration, our population, if you look at what happened in our elections taking from period of 1999 to date, I have no doubt in my mind that INEC is the most improved public service institution in Nigeria today,” Yakubu stated.
But PDP, in a statement yesterday by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola
Ologbondiyan, noted that such claim by Yakubu was coming at a time Nigerians and the international community expressed disappointment over the alleged irregularities, violation of rules, alteration of results and rigging that characterized the 2019 general election.
This, the party added, further confirmed that INEC under his watch is decadent and compromised.
“It is indeed outrageous that while Nigerians are hurting over the subversion of their mandate, the INEC Chairman, who ought to be apologizing, is rather insulting their sensibilities with his provocative claims.
“Prof. Yakubu cannot claim that INEC under his watch is the most improved service institution when all indices show that it performed far below the bar in the 2019 elections.
“How can anyone in good conscience make such spurious claims when the massive irregularities that defaced the 2019 elections is responsible for the unprecedented 766 election petitions across the country as against 297 petitions filed in the 2015 elections?
“It is indeed an unpardonable affront on the sensibility of Nigerians for Prof. Yakubu to claim that this INEC that has become notorious for compromised voters’ register, missing ballot papers, alteration of results and inconclusive elections, is the most improved service institution in the country,” PDP added.
According to the opposition party, it is completely preposterous for Yakubu to claim that INEC is the only agency which has offices in all local government areas and whose staff work exceptionally hard when there are many more agencies with offices in all the LGAs that engage in very tedious national assignments, even with far less allocation than INEC.
It wondered what the INEC Chairman would say about an agency like the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), which has offices in all the 774 local governments and yearly mobilizes thousands of corps members across the country.
“Furthermore, if INEC is the most improved institution and has nothing to hide as Prof. Yakubu claims, why is it afraid to allow an inspection or judicial audit of the sensitive materials and devices it used in the 2019 general election, including its server?” the party further asked.
It advised the INEC Chairman to save the nation an unnecessary stress by admitting the irregularities in the 2019 general election and that the commission he heads allegedly rigged the Presidential poll for the All Progressives Congress (APC).