BY Chinedu Asadu
Tanko Yakasai, an elder statesman, says the 2015 elections were rigged in the northern part of the country.
Speaking when he led the northern leaders stakeholders assembly to meet with Ibrahim Babangida, former military president, in Minna, Niger state, Yakasai said some southerners based in the north were disenfranchised in 2015.
He described that as “a form of rigging”, citing other instances.
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. That 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.”
The elder statesman added that the failure of residents in the north to use the electronic voting system also marred the elections.
Electronic voting was first used in the country during the 2015 general election.
“When the electronic voting was introduced, I was in support of it, but when I observed what happened in the 2015 general election, I changed my mind,” he said.
“This is because it was religiously observed in the southern part of the country, but it was not so religiously observed in the northern part of the country. It was from that moment that I began to have some reservations about the electronic voting pattern.”
President Muhammadu Buhari, a northerner, defeated Goodluck Jonathan — who is from the south — in the election widely adjudged as free and fair.
Yakasai’s comments comes three weeks after Ibrahim Mantu, former deputy president of the senate, spoke of his role in rigging elections in the past.