Poll Shift: I Can’t Sack INEC Chairman Single-handedly, Says Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari has dismissed speculations that he intends to sack Mahmood Yakubu, the chairman of Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for rescheduling the 2019 general election.

Mr Yakubu at the weekend announced the postponement of the general election expected to commence on Saturday with presidential and federal parliamentary elections.

The electoral chief while giving reasons for the postponement cited logistical challenges for election the commission took years to plan for.

This is not the first time INEC is postponing a general election in the country.

The Coalition of United Political Parties (CUPP) while hailing Yakubu for postponing the exercise in a bid to avert a staggered election, alleged that the president was warming up to oust the head of the electoral umpire.

The CUPP while making the allegation, said Buhari wants to install a stooge who is a close relationship to him so as to help rig the election in his favour and that of his party, the All Progressive Congress (APC).

But denying he has such plans let alone wanting to execute it, Buhari said he cannot single-handedly remove the electoral chief from office.

The Nigerian leader while reacting through his media aide, Shehu Garba, said the legislature must be involved before the INEC chief can be relieved of his duties.

Mr Garba said there is no truth in the allegation from the CUPP.

“Those reports are utterly baseless and false. There is nothing like that,” the presidential spokesman was quoted by The Nation as saying.

“Whoever is saying the President is removing INEC chairman is just displaying his illiteracy. Let him go and read the constitution.

“You need a resolution by two-thirds majority of the Senate for any such action,” he added.

POLITICS TIMES gathered that the speculation gained momentum because a similar formula was adopted by the president when he suspended Walter Onnoghen, the embattled Chief Justice of Nigeria without recourse to the legislature as stipulated in the constitution.