In continuation of rising political alignment and realignments’ over 2019 election in Nigeria, vociferous elder statesman and prominent politician, Alhaji Tanko Yakassai, has disclosed that massive rigging took place in the North in the 2015 general elections.
Business Hilights recalls that the 2015 election led to the emergence of President Muhammadu Buhari, a northerner, as president while the then incumbent, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, a southerner, lost.
Yakassai revealed the electoral fraud to journalists when he led the newly formed Northern Leaders Stakeholders Assembly to former Military President, Gen. Ibrahim Babangida, at his Uphill Mansion in Minna, the Niger State capital on Sunday.
His key revelation which is yet to be denied even by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and even the government was that there were high instances of manipulation in the elections and while the electronic voting was religiously observed in the southern part of the country, it was not so observed in the north.
According to him, “When the electronic voting was introduced, I was in support of it, but I observed what happened in the 2015 general election and I changed my mind.
“This is because it was religiously observed in the southern part of the country, but it was not so religiously observed in the northern parts of the country. It was from that moment that I began to have some reservations about the electronic voting pattern.
“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, 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,” Yakassi averred, saying his team was at Babangida’s house to inform the former leader of the objectives of the organisation dedicated to the unity and progress of the north.
In his response, Babangida was quick to lament that most leaders of northern extraction had for long taken the support of northerners for granted, stressing that henceforth, it would not be business as usual.
While hailing the drive of the Yakassi led group from the north, the former leader, known for annulling the 1993 general election, presumed to have been won by Chief MKO Abiola (SDP, Ogun State), praised the efforts of the group and assured them of his support as long as they worked for the unity of Nigeria.
Leader of though from the north at the meeting include Senator Joseph Waku, Alhaji Ghali Na Abba, Dr. Mohammed Data, Alhaji Abba Hana, Hajiya Inna Corona, Hajiya Zainab Main, Gimbia Rani, Alhaji Bala Mohammed and Dr. Umaru Babangida Aliyu, among others.