INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu

To most Nigerians, Professor Mahmood Yakubu is one name very divisive of opinions and the most deserving of criticism in the whole world at this point in time, and I share that sentiment.

The very first election under his stewardship as the INEC chairman in Kogi State had an inconclusive outcome. Then we all thought he was just finding his footing in a new terrain, but he seems to have learnt nothing.

Then came Yakubu’s second election in Bayelsa State – declared inconclusive as well. Other rancorous elections followed in Ekiti and Osun States, with the later declared inconclusive – which then led to a questionable outcome. A real pattern of inconclusive elections was emerging but we took it lightly. One would have expected that INEC had garnered enough lessons gearing towards the general elections, but the real shocker was yet to come.

Then came the mother of it all – the general elections – with all the resources and years to plan and mobilize, yet more than a month later we are still grappling with it, with elections in six States still inconclusive. The incompetence of Professor Mahmood – in a nutshell – is now legendary. What a Prof!

He has become the face of everything wrong with our electoral system and an embarrassment to the academia. That a professor is given more than three years – with all the resources – to be ready for the general elections and he fails to put his act together for a less rancorous, free, fair and credible exercise is quite reprehensible.

Without being vindictive, I am of the opinion that only a man without integrity can oversee such an abysmal exercise as we are witnessing. Following the outcome of the ongoing elections – since the exercise is yet to be concluded in six states – the INEC led by Professor Yakubu is evidently short in integrity – that is if one is following keenly the nature of the inconclusiveness of elections in this country since Professor Yakubu took over the helms of INEC, but that is a matter for another appraisal.

What would be Professor Mahmood’s explanation to Nigerians, knowing fully well that his Commission was allocated N234.5 billion – the highest funds ever allocated for the prosecution of elections in Nigeria, and he went on to conduct elections deemed as the worst ever in our country’s history?

I make bold to say that Mahmood is either corrupt or have some mismanagement queries to answer, and must be made to explain how the funds allocated to the Commission for the purpose of these elections was managed, to the extent that the outcome necessitated the postponement of the elections just hours to commencement on its initial date – thereby costing Nigeria and Nigerians millions and billions in Naira and Dollars, being the ‘opportunity cost’ of using over a month for electioneering exercise.

It was said that logistical challenges were at the heart of the postponement of the elections in the first instance and even at that, on commencement of the elections it is still very glaring how unready INEC was for the exercise. Now the question begging for answer is; how was the funds allocated for this exercise utilized?

Failure has a prize! We may not totally be conversant with Mahmood Yakubu’s antecedents in the university, but his career as the INEC boss has been a miserable misnomer and a colossal failure. He deserves a place in the ‘hall’ or ‘wall’ of shame!

The inept failure of this magnitude must not go unchecked. No matter the outcome of these elections, inquiries must be made to establish the true state of INEC and its structures, and how the funds appropriated to the Commission was disbursed and utilized.

If we must end the suffering of Nigerians in the guise of elections, there must be accountability. Enough is enough!.

Patrick S. Jr

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