There is no plan to remove Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Chairman Mahmood Yakubu over the abrupt postponement of the general elections, the Presidency said yesterday.
A leading politician has alleged that President Muhammadu Buhari was planning to give Yakubu the push over last Saturday’s postponement of the elections.
“It is not true,” a Presidency source said.
The denial came amid claims that Prof. Yakubu has taken charge of logistics for the elections.
Besides, The Nation learnt, the electoral agency is to release details of the state-by-state collection of Permanent Voters’ Cards (PVCs).
The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, debunked the reports that Yakubu was to be removed.
Shehu said: “Those reports are utterly baseless and false. There is nothing like that. “Whoever is saying the President is removing INEC chairman is just displaying his illiteracy. Let him go and read the constitution.
“You need a resolution by two-thirds majority of the Senate for any such action.”
The clarification by the Presidency came against the backdrop of the agitation by National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party(PDP), Prince Uche Secondus, and the alarm raised by the amorphous Coalition of United Political Parties( CUPP) that President Muhammadu Buhari was plotting to remove the INEC chairman.”
Another government source, who spoke in confidence, said: “What PDP National Chairman Secondus wanted was more of electoral anarchy, which this Buhari administration will not oblige him. Resignation or removal of INEC chairman is never contemplated by the President.
“Buhari’s administration will not change the rule in the middle of the game. Asking INEC chairman to quit will cause rumpus within INEC management , disrupt all preparations for the poll and create unrest nationwide.
“The opposition has a hidden agenda, which this government will not buy into. We will also not play into their hands.The INEC chairman will remain in charge of the electoral agency.”
Secondus said the “shoddy” arrangement for the elections by INEC was “a deliberate agenda” of President Buhari to cling on to power even when it’s obvious to him that Nigerians want him out.