I Won’t Be Intimidated – INEC Chairman

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  • Says Poorly Conducted Elections, Recipe For Disaster

The Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Mahmood Yakubu, has said he would not be intimidated by partisan pressure.

“I have passed the stage where someone can intimidate me to do what is wrong.” Yakubu said in the current edition of The Interview.

He made this statement in light of concerns about voter registration and accusations by politicians that INEC could not be trusted to conduct free and fair elections.

In a recent comment, Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike, said the report of under-age voting in Kano had damaged confidence in INEC.

Yakubu, however, said, “I have passed that stage, where I can be intimidated, with due respect. And the real test is in what we have done (178 ‘mini’ elections) so far. The most interesting thing for me is that both parties accuse us equally. So, that means we are doing something right.”

He said he had never faced any pressure from the Presidency, or any other quarters, to bend the rules.

“We know that poorly conducted elections are a recipe for disaster,” Yakubu said. “We will never tread that path.”

The MD/Editor-In-Chief of The Interview, Azu Ishiekwene, described the interview as “the first barometer of Yakubu’s INEC in the last three years.”

On the Kano underage voting, the INEC Chairman said, “These are elections that are not the legal and constitutional responsibilities of INEC. There are legal entities that conduct local and government elections in this country. So, on what basis are we going to prosecute electoral offenders in an election in which INEC is not legally responsible for?”

Reminded that potential abuse of INEC’s register was enough basis for prosecution, he said, the argument could also be stretched to other agencies involved in the process, including the Police.

The interview also covered the delayed primaries in the ruling All Progressives Congress, the role of security services, including the use of the army in past elections, and whether or not Yakubu will vote in 2019.

This edition also features interviews with sextoypreneur, Iheoma Obibi, on the growing sex toy market; and BBC’s new head of West Africa and ex-PUNCH, Toyosi Ogunseye.

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