FG keeps mum on secret meeting with INEC Chairman

Federal Government has kept mum five days after its meeting with the chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) at the presidential villa in Abuja on Friday.

Chief of staff to the president, Abba Kyari, hosted Mahmood Yakubu, in a meeting, alleged to have lasted 30 minutes, which took place inside Kyari’s office.

Yakubu did not speak with state house correspondents on his way out of the villa, neither Kyari.

The presidency has also not issued a statement on the meeting that held while there was an outrage over the refusal of President Muhammadu Buhari to submit his academic credentials to the electoral body.

It was gathered that the meeting was unconnected to the general elections in 2019 or Osun State and that of Ekiti election tribunals, including the troubled President’s certificates.

Meanwhile, The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) warned the President Muhammadu Buhari against allowing his personal ambition push the nation into chaos, saying that his handlers were “desperate to force him on an unwilling nation”.

Recall that PDP made the declaration on Sunday through its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, in reaction to a Friday secret meeting between Chief of Staff to the President, Abba Kyari and Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Mahmood Yakubu.

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The PDP also cautioned the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Mahmood Yakubu not to succumb to pressure to manipulate the electoral process for President Buhari as such could cause serious crisis capable of disarticulating the nation.

“The party warns that President Buhari’s handlers, who are desperate to force him on an unwilling nation, are fast pushing the nation to the brinks and should be checked before it is too late”, The statement further reads.

“PDP’s fresh caution to INEC Chairman is predicated on an alleged secret meeting he held with President Buhari’s Chief of Staff, Mallam Abba Kyari, at the Presidential villa last Friday.

“Prof. Yakubu should note that the polity is already tensed over INEC’s listing of President Buhari for election despite his failure to present the constitutionally required academic credentials like other candidates. This development casts a dark shadow on the credibility of INEC to conduct a transparent election.

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“INEC is invited to further note that Nigerians are aware that by President Buhari’s declaration, in an affidavit, that his said certificates are with the military, his nomination documentation is therefore constitutionally incomplete, making him ineligible to contest the 2019 Presidential elections.

“Also, by failing to write to the military authorities to release his claimed certificates, Mr. President leaves Nigerians with no option than to hold that he does not have the credentials and the 1999 Constitution (as amended) did not provide that affidavits can be used as a substitute for any candidate’s credentials.

“Moreover, Mr. President’s affidavit also shows that he did not submit any certificate in 2015, making his candidacy for that election improper and defective under our laws.

“Prof. Yakubu must have noted the heavy public criticisms that have been trailing his provocative declaration that Nigerians should go to court over the certificate saga. His statement betrays an electoral umpire who is under threats and heavy pressure to abdicate his statutory duty of enforcing constitutional requirements for elections.

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“The PDP holds that allowing such siege mentality on our democratic institutions to fester will surely spell doom for our nation. Nigeria is our country and we don’t have any other nation we can call our own.

“Now that Nigerians have rejected President Buhari’s affidavit and insisted on his certificates, the All Progressives Congress (APC) is left with no option than to accept its self-inflicted misfortune.

“Meanwhile, we are not unaware of the anxiety and apprehension in the APC but such is the price of being stuck with bad merchandise.

“On our part, the PDP is ready for election. Our candidate, Atiku Abubakar, with his proven competencies, has met all the requirements for the election and is now enjoying the support of the overwhelming majority of Nigerians across all sections of our country.

“Nigerians are tired of a deceptive, dishonest and grossly incompetent Buhari administration, which has brought so much anguish and pain to our nation.”

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