2019: El-Rufai plotting to rig polls, CUPP alleges

Kaduna state Chapter of Coalition of United Political Parties (CUPP) on Tuesday raised alarm that Governor Nasir el-Rufai of Kaduna state has concluded plans to use state sponsored security operatives to rig the 2019 general elections.

Addressing journalists at the NUJ Kaduna state council secretariat, CUPP Chairman, Hon. Umar Ibrahim Mairakumi, who is also the Chairman of Labour Party in Kaduna state alleged that the governor has made up his mind to use the state vigilante service to rig the polls by registering them with Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as part of security agency for the elections. 

According to Mairakumi: “Kaduna state Chapter of the Coalition of United Political Parties (CUPP) wishes to call on the attention of the Nigeria Police Force, the Independent National Electoral Commission and all relevant security agencies and stakeholders on the grand plan by Governor Nasir Ahmed Elrufai to use his state sponsored security operatives to manipulate and rig the 2019 general election.

“The CUPP has noted with dismay, the efforts of Nasiru Ahmed El-Rufai lobbying to influence the transfer of all indigenous police officers and men serving in Kaduna state out of the state command. This is uncalled for and unnecessary at this crucial time of the election.

“CUPP also, noted with keen interest Nasiru Ahmed El-Rufai working hard to obtain the approval of INEC and influence the Kaduna State Police Command to accept his state sponsored Kaduna Vigilante Services popularly referred to “Kato da Gora” to participate in the election as part of the election security team. This is unacceptable!

“CUPP has also observed the governor’s desperation to use his state sponsored security operatives to manipulate and rig the election. The governor in his desperation has recently inaugurated a new security operatives in the guise of ‘Kaduna State Local Government Safety and Emergency Management Volunteers’, who are going to be used as polling unit guards. 

“This is unacceptable and must be resisted.  We therefore call on the attention of INEC, security agencies, Nigerians and indeed the international observers to this unhealthy political development so that his action should not only be totally condemned but rejected out rightly. The governor’s action goes against INEC guidelines for the conduct of the 2019 General Elections. 

“All political parties have the responsibility of ensuring peaceful conduct of elections as it has been the practice. CUPP and indeed, the political parties are confident in the ability and capacity of the Nigeria Police Force and the statutory federal security agencies to provide adequate security and guaranty peaceful election at all polling units and voting centers in the state and the country at large.

“It is of paramount importance that the challenges posed by the Kaduna state Governor, highlighted above, should be viewed with seriousness by all stakeholders, particularly the media and international observers to ensure that all effort to undermine the process and rig the election should be resisted and stopped.

“We call on all security agencies and Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to ensure that the process and conduct of the 2019 general election is NOT only free and fair BUT credible and in line with international best practices.”