Former Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Comrade Timi Frank, has raised the alarm over what he described as a plot by the Presidency and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to use military, Police and other security agents as presiding officers during the 2019 general elections.
Frank said the plot which has been perfected by top echelons of the presidency in collaboration with INEC and security agencies was to ensure a decisive win for President Muhammadu Buhari and all the candidates of the APC during the elections.
Frank said: “We have authentic information that the worse will be witnessed in the 2019 general elections as the presidency and the INEC have concluded plans to deploy military and other security agents as presiding officers – disguised as civilians – to aid the APC in winning the elections
“This is most appalling as it is coming at a time when the use of military personnel for election duties has become anathema in other climes. The present administration is not only plotting to use them to intimidate, harass and arrest key opposition leaders before, during and after the forthcoming elections but to deploy them as presiding officers in polling units across the country disguised as civilian personnel to thwart the express will of the Nigerian voter.
“I hereby call on the Prof. Mahmood Yakubu-led INEC to redeem its image by desisting from this brazen partisanship unexpected of an electoral umpire anywhere in the world. Yakubu ought to have resigned following the confession by Buhari that the APC won last year’s Governorship election in Osun State by “remote control.”
He stated that part of the plot was to allow the influx of millions of foreigners – that INEC has since registered – into the country through the nation’s porous northern borders to vote for the APC in all the scheduled elections.
He added that the presence of two governors from Niger Republic – Issa Moussa of Zinder and Zakiri Umar of Maradi – at Buhari’s Campaign rally in Kano last week was not an accident but that their illegal presence was carefully choreographed to test the waters ahead of voting on February 16 and March 2.
He further stated that the illegal removal and trial of the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghen, is an integral part of the rigging script already designed by Buhari and APC to guarantee their victory either fair or foul.
He insisted that the military’s Operation Python Dance III which has already commenced nationwide is part of the plot meant to intimidate the opposition ahead of the elections and to forcefully ensure that elections results are manipulated to favour the APC.
He condemned the anti-democratic plot in strong terms and called on the international community especially election observers already in the country to help monitor the activities of the Prof. Mahmood Yakubu-led INEC to ensure that they carry out the exercise in line with international best practices and devoid of prearranged manipulations.
He stated that his earlier alarm notwithstanding, the INEC’s boss has continued his nocturnal rendezvous with top government officials aimed at perfecting their undemocratic plot, including the deployment of soldiers to serve as Presiding Officers during the elections.
He also called on past Nigerian leaders like General Yakubu Gowon, Ibrahim Babangida, Abdulsalami Abubakar and Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, among others, to caution the military on the dire implication of being used to derail the nation’s democracy.
He thanked the Governments of the United States, United Kingdom and European Union for their avowed readiness to place visa restrictions on sponsors and perpetrators of rigging and violence during the forthcoming polls.
He further urged the EU, UK and US to extend their proposed visa ban to any Staff of the INEC including its Chairman, National Commissioners and State Resident Electoral Commissioners found to have used their privileged positions to assist the ruling APC in rigging the elections.
He urged Nigerians to take their destiny in their hands by resisting the planned stealing of the people’s mandate by Buhari and the APC.