Buhari/APC Rigged 2015 Poll In North —Tanko Yakassai
A prominent northern politician, Alhaji Tanko Yakassai has revealed that the ruling All Progressives Congress [APC], in collusion with the Independent National Electoral Commission [INEC] massively rigged the 2015 general elections, especially in the northern region.
The Elder statesman made the revelation when he led the newly formed Northern Leaders Stakeholders Assembly to the Minna home of former Military President, General Ibrahim Babangida on Sunday.
With Yakassai at Babangida’s residence were Dr. Umaru Babangida Aliyu, Alhaji Abba Hana, Hajiya Inna Corona, Senator Joseph Waku, Hajiya Zainab Main, Alhaji Ghali Na Abba, Dr. Mohammed Data, Gimbia Rani, among others.
Speaking to journalists, he cited several instances of manipulation during the elections.
Citing the instance of electronic voting machine, he said that while they were tacitly deployed in the southern part of the country, it was not so in the north.
He stated: “When the electronic voting was introduced, I was in support of it, but I observed what happened in the 2015 general election and I changed my mind.
“This is because it was religiously observed in the southern part of the country, but it was not so religiously observed in the northern parts of the country.
“It was from that moment that I began to have some reservations about the electronic voting pattern.”
Speaking further, he cited the tactics of deploying fear to scare away the electorates. He said:
“There are many ways of rigging election.
“What happened in 2015 where the majority of southerners resident in the north were scared away from their places of residence, where they had registered, to their place of origin and therefore could not have the opportunity to vote, was rigging.
“Again some of the southerners who did not run away were afraid to come out and vote on the day of election.
“So scaring people from coming out to vote for the candidates of their choice is also a form of rigging.”
Meanwhile, speaking earlier at the meeting with Babangida, he lamented that most leaders of northern extraction had for long taken northern electorates’ votes for granted.
He, however, warned that henceforth, it would not be business as usual.
He stressed that they were at Babangida’s house to inform him of the objectives of the organisation mission to the unity and progress of the north.
Babangida, in turn, saluted the group and assured them of his support as long as they worked for the unity of Nigeria.
The 2015 election saw the then incumbent, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, a southerner out while Muhammadu Buhari emerged as president.
Recently, northern groups and individuals have risen up against the leadership style of President Buhari accusing him of various misdeeds, ranging from bad economy to insecurity.
Among the groups were a coalition of 18 northern groups including the apex socio-cultural group Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) and the Northern Elders Forum (NEF), et al, gave RED CARD to President Muhammadu Buhari, as well as other political office holders in the northern region.
Also, a coalition of youth political groups, including the Arewa Youth Consultative Forum, Ohanaeze Ndigbo youths, Ijaw Youth Council Worldwide, Yoruba Youth Council and over 50 other groups have risen in agreement and rejected Buhari for the 2019 presidential election.
Late last year, the Arewa Youths Consultative Forum [AYCF] has asked him not to seek re-election in the 2019 presidential election, saying any such arrangement would be resisted.
President of the group, Yerima Shettima urged Buhari to abandon his right to contest the 2019 presidential election.
He said: “Honestly, the situation is nothing to write home about and we cannot continue hoping that anything will happen from now till the next one year.”