Nyesom Wike, governor of Rivers state, has refuted claims that Mahmood Yakubu, chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), once worked under him.
On Saturday, Rotimi Amaechi, the former minister for transportation, claimed that the INEC chairman worked under Wike as the executive secretary of the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFUND).
Amaechi also claimed that Yakubu was nominated for reappointment as INEC chairman by an individual in the camp of Bola Tinubu, the president-elect.
In a statement by Kelvin Ebiri, Wike’s special assistant on media, the governor, in a broadcast on the outcome of the March 18 elections, debunked Amaechi’s claim and said his outburst that the just conducted general elections by INEC were the worst in Nigeria’s history, is ‘ludicrous’.
“The truth was that Mahmood Yakubu never worked under me. Both of us worked in the Federal Ministry of Education. He was the executive secretary of the Tertiary Education Trust Fund, supervised by the minister of education, while I was the minister of state for education,” Wike said.
“At any rate, was Mahmood Yakubu INEC’s chairman in the 2015 general elections in Rivers State when we defeated him and his political party as a sitting Governor and director-general of Muhammadu Buhari’s presidential campaign?
“Was it not the same Mahmood Yakubu that conducted the 2019 general election, which the APC and President Mohammadu Buhari won?
“Was he working for Atiku Abubakar of the PDP when, as a sitting super minister of transportation, he could not win 25% for president Buhari in Rivers state in the 2019 general election?
Wike said Amaechi’s claim of opposing the reappointment of Yakubu because he was nominated by someone in Tinubu’s camp was tantamount to public incitement and a threat to national security.
He also questioned why it took this long for Amaechi, who served as a minister for over seven years under President Muhammadu Buhari to speak out about his opposition to Yakubu’s reappointment.
“In saner climes, law enforcement agencies should have invited such a devious and malignant character for hate speech, public incitement, and threat to national security, public safety, and order. By his mischievous statements, Rotimi Amaechi attempted to attribute, locate and blame his infamous political failures and frustrations in Rivers State on the INEC’s chairman.”