Leader of the outlawed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, has insinuated that his directive to pro-Biafra supporters to vote in the 2019 elections disrupted plans by some Nigerians to rig the polls.
Kanu had shocked many late Thursday, two days to the elections, by calling off the boycott of the elections in the southeastern part of Africa’s most populous nation.
Kanu had said that the only condition for members of the outlawed group to vote was if the federal government yielded to IPOB’s demand for a referendum to enable the Igbo to determine whether they want to be part of Nigeria or not.
“Having confirmed this evening that all our preconditions and terms have been met, signed, sealed and delivered; I hereby call-off the election boycott across Biafraland on Feb. 16, 2019,” he had tweeted on Thursday evening.
“I dedicate this historic victory to the formidable. #IPOB family worldwide.”
And on Saturday morning, the National Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Mahmood Yakubu, also shocked many Nigerians by announcing at about 2:40 a.m., a few hours to the commencement of the polls, that the elections had been postponed over logistic problems.
According to Yakubu, the Presidential and National Assembly elections will now hold on Saturday, 23 February.
The action of the commission has since been condemned by many Nigerians.
In his reaction, the IPOB leader tweeted that the late postponement of the elections exposed plans by unknown persons to rig the polls as he posted a “fake Abia state election result sheet.”
“One announcement calling off IPOB boycott late Thursday evening followed by 11th-hour postponement of elections by INEC late on Friday is confirmation of the colossal might of IPOB. One simple announcement and their rigging plans fell apart. Fake Abia result sheet now useless,” he tweeted.
One announcement calling off IPOB boycott late Thursday evening followed by 11th-hour postponement of elections by INEC late on Friday is confirmation of the colossal might of IPOB. One simple announcement and their rigging plans fell apart. Fake Abia result sheet now useless. pic.twitter.com/EHbGtNSNaS
— Mazi Nnamdi Kanu (@MaziNnamdiKanu) February 16, 2019
The postponement did not go down well with the main opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), whose presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, accused President Muhammadu Buhari of plotting to disenfranchise Nigerians.
However, the Buhari campaign organisation accused the PDP of orchestrating the postponement.
Reacting to the postponement, spokesman for the Buhari Campaign, Festus Keyamo, said the PDP social media influencers already knew the elections would be moved before the umpire announced it.