The Coalition of United Political Parties on Tuesday alleged that President Muhammadu Buhari was planning to sabotage the rescheduled presidential and National Assembly elections.
The coalition claimed that the President had directed the Department of State Services to invite and detain the Independent National Electoral Commission’s National Commissioner in charge of Operations, Prof. Okechukwu Ibeanu.
The national spokesman for the group, Imo Ugochinyere, made the allegation in a statement on Tuesday.
Ugochinyere said, “The refusal of INEC to proceed with staggered election during the aborted February 16 election which ruined Buhari’s APC rigging plan is the reason for the new offensive against INEC to intimidate it into submission.”
He further claimed that the idea of detaining the INEC official was instigated by a former director-general of the Department of State Services, who he alleged still ran the agency by proxy.
“The former DG convinced Buhari to allow the use of the DSS to clampdown on INEC to force them to do their bidding or sabotage the rescheduled election and stop it from holding.
“We call on all Nigerians to rise up against this ongoing leadership abuse and madness, which have the potential to throw Nigeria into an electoral violence that will enable Buhari to execute his lawless order that security agencies should publicly start killing people under the guise of ballot box snatching.”
But the Independent National Electoral Commission on Tuesday said that contrary to the claim, Ibeanu had been arrested and detained by the DSS, none of its personnel had been apprehended by anybody.
The Chairman of INEC, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, who made the clarification during a press briefing at the Abuja International Conference Centre, said, “No national commissioner was arrested by security agencies, there is none whose residence was ransacked and the national commissioner in question is in his office as we speak here.”
When asked to respond to the order to security agencies by President Buhari that ballot box snatchers should be shot, the INEC chairman differed, saying violators of the law, including ballot box snatchers, should “be punished within the confines of the law.”