The Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, has said he would not be intimidated ahead of the 2019 election.
He spoke in reaction to concerns and condemnation trailing voter and underage registration as well as accusations by politicians that INEC could not be trusted to conduct free and fair elections.
Yakubu in the current edition of The Interview said: “I have passed the stage where someone can tell me to do what is wrong”.
“I have passed that stage, where I can be intimidated, with due respect.
“And the real test is in what we have done (178 ‘mini’ elections) so far.
“The most interesting thing for me is that both parties accuse us equally. So, that means we are doing something right.”
Yakubu said he had never faced any pressure from the Buhari government or any other quarters to bend the rules.
“We know that poorly conducted elections are a recipe for disaster. We will never tread that path,” he said.
On the Kano underage voting, the INEC Chairman said: “These are elections that are not the legal and constitutional responsibilities of INEC.
“There are legal entities that conduct local and government elections in this country.
“So, on what basis are we going to prosecute electoral offenders in an election in which INEC is not legally responsible for?”
Reminded that potential abuse of INEC’s register was enough basis for prosecution, he said the argument could also be stretched to other agencies involved in the process, including the Police.