Former Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) chief, Prof Attahiru Jega has replied his former boss, Goodluck Jonathan over his claims in Against the Run of Play, a book by ThisDay Editorial Board Chairman Olusegun Adeniyi.
Jega while speaking through his Special Assistant, Prof Mohammed Kuna, disagreed with Jonathan’s belief that the wide margin between the presidential election and National Assembly results in Kano State was a reflection of a flawed election.
The former President said it was strange that the state recorded 1.8 million votes in the presidential poll and 800,000 in the National Assembly election on the same day.
But Prof Kuna, in a section of the book, said: “There is nothing particularly special about the Kano result; it is a general trend as many votes were more interested in the presidential election than in other elections. That was what happened across the country and you can go and do the tabulation.”
He said the introduction of the card reader made it difficult to manipulate elections and inflate results.
“There is nothing particularly special about the Kano result; it is a general trend as many voters were more interested in the presidential election than in other elections. That was what happened across the country and you can go and do the tabulation.
“With the card reader, it is no longer possible to return results that are higher than the accredited voters. If you analyse the results nationally, you will discover the same trend.”
Also yesterday, a source close to the former INEC chief dismissed Jonathan’s claim that Jega’s behaviour changed few days into the 2015 elections.
According to the source, the former President must have been misadvised to make such claims, pointing out that Jega, being a principled and disciplined personality, could not have been arm-twisted on the conduct of the polls adjudged as by local international overs as reflecting the wishes and aspirations of the electorate.
Senator Abubakar Girei urged the former President to stop blaming anybody for his defeat in the 2015 presidential election, saying that, Jonathan dug his own grave.
Senator Girei, who represented Adamawa Central Senatorial zone between 1999 to 2003 under the then ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP), noted that it was uncharitable of Jonathan to blame his defeat on local and international leaders who have seen through his foolery and decided to ditch him in the interest of Nigeria and their respective countries.
Girei, now a staunch member of the All Progressive Congress (APC), in a statement issued in Kaduna, also faulted former military governor of Kaduna State, Col Abubakar Dangiwa Umar, for tongue lashing the government for alleged disrespect for Jonathan.
Girei said: “The likes of Col. Dangiwa Umar and their paymasters cannot save him (Jonathan) and his cohort from paying for sins sooner than later.
“GEJ and his cohorts should bury themselves in shame as the nation awaits their eventual prosecution and imprisonment.
“They must pay for their sins, especially for the thousands of our people in the Northeast who lost their lives and over two million others displaced from their homes for more than five years now.
“GEJ said it without mincing words that he did not concede defeat to President Muhammadu Buhari for patriotic, nationalistic or even Godly reasons but purely because all the tactics and strategies employed by his clueless self and his greedy co-travellers could not work.
“I am compelled to respond to GEJ’s widely reported remarks in the papers today (yesterday), that the cat is now out of the bag is no news, what makes the news juicier is that former President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan (GEJ) let the cat out of the bag by himself.”