President Muhammadu Buhari has fired the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) over its incompetence in the conduct of the 2019 general elections.
Just hours to the commencement of the polls on February 16, the commission postponed the elections for an extra week due to logistical problems and claims of attempted sabotage.
The postponement was not well received by Nigerians, with some calling for the resignation of INEC chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu.
While speaking at the emergency caucus meeting of the All Progressives Congress (APC), the president said the commission’s failure to conduct the elections on the scheduled date was unacceptable.
He said INEC had all the time and resources they required and didn’t have to wait for six hours the polls to postpone it.
He said, “Definitely, the reasons why such incompetence manifests itself has to be explained to the nation.
“After the elections, we have to know exactly what happened and who’s responsible. Otherwise, our efforts to make sure this system we voluntarily accept is not making progress.
“What is the use if we accept incompetence? The constitution and the laws protected INEC but they must not take us for granted.”
The president also cautioned against electoral violence and warned election riggers to expect a harsh reaction from security agents.
The national chairman of the APC, Adams Oshiomhole, also criticised INEC’s decision and accused the commission of informing the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) about the postponement before it was officially made public.
He also said the party will not adhere to INEC’s ban on the resumption of campaigns by political parties, noting that the party has to continue to inform the electorate about its plans.
The Presidential and National Assembly elections that were supposed to take place on February 16 will now take place on February 23, while the Governorship and State House of Assembly elections initially scheduled for March 2 have been moved to March 9.