Indications have emerged of a strained relationship which now exists between the presidency and the leadership of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.
This supposed face-off is said to have been sparked by a reason given by the electoral body for postponing the 2015 general elections by six weeks.
The Chairman of INEC, Professor Attahiru Jega, had on Saturday while announcing an adjournment of the general elections, attributed the shift which was from February 14 and 28 to March 28 and April 11, to a letter written by the military over its “inability” to provide security for the elections owing to its renewed offensive against the Boko Haram insurgents.
However, over the weekend, a presidential aide squealed to TheCable that Jega was being “clever by half” by attempting to “pass the buck” to the military, stressing that it was a mere ploy by INEC to undermine the Commission’s poor preparations for the elections.
According to the source, who pleaded for his name not to be mentioned, “Jega was not sincere at all. The collection of PVCs was to end last Saturday and 23 million cards were yet to be distributed. Why was Jega not man enough to admit they would have bungled the elections if the dates had remained unchanged?”
Competent sources said last night that the move to remove Jega and the legal fireworks against Buhari, would be taken up simultaneously with effect from this week given the timeframe made possible by the shift.
Stressing that daunting insecurity was just one of the many factors that necessitated the postponement; the presidential aide said, “Jega has cleverly gone to tell the whole world that it was the security agencies that forced him to change the dates.” He wondered why journalists failed to asked him what he intended to do with the 23 million uncollected PVCs as well as the ones that were stolen from the Commission.
“Jega was also silent on the fact that the machines that would be deployed to read the cards had not been tested and its officials had not even been trained on how to use them, while there is yet no consolidated voter register. Jega himself admitted to his commissioners that the election would have ended in chaos if INEC had gone ahead. The letter written by the chief of defence staff was the perfect excuse for him to shift the polls and heap all the blame on security,” he said.