Frank challenges Buratai, INEC on commitment to credible polls
Former Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Timi Frank, has challenged the chairman of Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Mahmood Yakubu, and the Chief of Army Staff, Lt Gen Tukur Buratai, to prove their commitment to free, fair and credible elections
In a statement yesterday, he vowed not to succumb to the threat by Buratai to arrest him for alleging that there were plans to rig the general elections.Frank, a close ally of presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, insisted that the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration had perfected plans to rig the general elections in favour of the ruling APC.
He said rather than the military intimidating him by threatening to arrest him, they should tell Nigerians if Buratai did or did not attend a midnight meeting he referred to in his statement on Sunday. He also urged Yakubu to tell Nigerians whether it was by coincidence that he was spotted on a national television wearing a cap with APC’s broom symbol, which is nothing but display of his loyalty and support for Buhari’s re-election bid.
“I cannot be intimidated. I am not afraid of being arrested. Nigeria needs free, fair and credible elections to ensure peace, sustain democracy and national development.“INEC owes Nigerians and the world a sacred duty to allow the votes of Nigerians to count in the elections rather than its Chairman openly taking sides by attending meetings with Buhari and wearing APC’s campaign symbols.
“Let Yakubu prove to Nigerians that he is not pro-APC by allowing transparency and impartiality during Saturday’s presidential and National Assembly elections, as well as the gubernatorial and state Assembly polls of March 2, 2019.“He should prove to Nigerians that the military has no role in the elections by stopping his men from being used to intimidate and arrest opposition leaders or aid the rigging in favour of the APC.
“Let the COAS tell Nigerians that the ongoing massive deployment of military personnel to opposition strongholds across the country is not meant to intimidate opposition leaders to pave way for APC’s victory, as they did during the Ekiti and Osun states gubernatorial elections,” he stated.
He further said he stood by his statement on the suspicious midnight meeting with Buhari and his top aides, adding that no amount of intimidation would stop him from raising the alarm when actions inimical to peaceful and successful conduct of the elections come to play.He stressed the need for INEC to conduct free, fair and credible elections and urged the military to stir clear of politics by concentrating on their core constitutional mandate before, during and after the 2019 polls.