President Jonathan seems afraid and Secretly move for poll postponement

February 3, 2015 2:08 pm
According to Sahara Reporters, in the face of dwindling prospects for
his re-election bid, has embarked on a
renewed three-pronged approach to scuttle the presidential election
billed for February 14, several sources within the Presidency have
disclosed. 
It had finally dawned on Jonathan that his hopes for winning re-election
had dimmed significantly. Our sources said the president was deeply
distressed to find out that several governors of the PDP had been
working quietly with the leading opposition party, APC, to thwart his
re-election. 
“Apart from Governor Godswill Akpabio of Akwa Ibom, Mr. President is no
longer sure that he can count on the support of any of our other
governors,” an insider in the Presidency said. 
In a startling disclosure, our sources said Jonathan is willing to entertain a military take-over.

In order to push that agenda, the Presidency has released more than N2 billion to Raymond Dokpesi, the owner of Africa Independent Television (AIT), to coordinate the campaign for postponement of the elections… Another source said several PDP governors were aggrieved that Jonathan
shortchanged or abandoned them during the party’s primaries. Several of
them are reportedly paying the president back by standing aloof from his
campaigns or actively mobilizing support for Muhammadu Buhari, the
APC’s presidential candidate.

Our sources revealed that the president and hawks within his
administration held a prolonged meeting yesterday and decided that the
elections must be frustrated at all cost. Two of the sources said
Jonathan intends to call a meeting of the Council of State for Thursday
to persuade its members to back a proposal to postpone the polls. In
place of an election, the president wants to set up “a government of
national unity” to be headed by him for 18 months to two years.

It is unclear whether the council would endorse the plan to reschedule
elections. The council’s membership includes past heads of state and
presidents, and some of them have been openly critical of Mr. Jonathan’s
record.

One source stated that, as part of the broad strategy to scuttle the
elections, the Presidency would refuse to pay the balance of the
contract for the printing of ballot papers. The contract was awarded
when the Nigerian currency, the naira, officially exchanged for N165 to a
dollar. The source said the contractor, who claimed to be sourcing his
foreign currency from the black market, is now seeking an adjustment to
his contract. “The contractor wants to be paid N210 to a dollar, but
and his team have refused to help the Independent
National Electoral Commission (INEC) source the balance,” our source
revealed.

Instead, the president and his team have advised INEC to look for a
local Nigerian printer to print the ballot papers. INEC chairman
Attahiru Jega and some of his top aides have balked at the idea of using
a local printer. They argue that such an arrangement would be a perfect
recipe for chaos, allowing the Presidency to use its considerable slush
funds to illegally print duplicate papers with which to rig the
election, as happened in several states in 2011.

A source at INEC told Sahara Reporters that INEC chairman and some top
officials suspect that the Jonathan administration was working seriously
to undermine the commission’s credibility. “There is a lot of internal sabotage going on at INEC,” the source said. 

He disclosed that some resident electoral commissions were giving
contradictory statements and reports about the commission’s preparedness
for the February elections, without clearing with the headquarters.
“Can you imagine also that even non-essential materials are being stolen
from INEC offices, all in an effort to undermine the effort to hold
elections,” said the source.

The Presidency’s second option is the recruitment of some members of the
defunct National Conference to press the case for postponing the
elections until Nigerians discuss, adopt and implement the resolutions
of the confab. Using AIT and other willing media, Mr. Dokpesi is
expected to press the case for constituting an interim national
government headed by Jonathan. Earlier today in Abuja, Mr. Dokpesi’s AIT
aired a live discussion by members of a “post national conference
consultative committee”, to begin framing the case for postponement. 

The live program featured Bolaji Akinyemi, a former Minister of Foreign
Affairs, Femi Okurounmu, who headed a nationwide consultation for the
national conference, Maurice Iwu, a notorious former INEC chairman, Mike
Ezekhome, a lawyer, G.G. Darah, a professor and close associate of
jailed former Governor James Ibori of Delta State, and Balarabe Musa, a
former governor of Kaduna State whose involvement is perhaps the only
surprise.

Dokpesi’s group is expected to use its huge war chest to argue that
elections are untenable because of INEC’s questionable preparedness as
well as the tense security situation in ’s northeast.

The Presidency’s third option is the possible use of the Nigerian
military to scuttle the election. Nigeria’s Chief of Army Staff, General
Tobiah Minimah, is reportedly a key player in executing the military
option. One source reported that General Minimah, who is from President
Jonathan’s Niger Delta region, was initially reluctant, but eventually
signed up for the scheme to use the military to intervene should the
elections proceed and not go President Jonathan’s way.

Our sources said the president was irate that INEC chairman, Mr. Jega,
had been avoiding meetings with him and his presidential aides. “Professor
Jega has maintained that he wants to be seen to have conducted a free
and transparent election, even if imperfect. He has therefore maintained
that there is no point going to Aso Rock to hold meetings exclusively
with Mr. President, who is a candidate, and the president’s team,” one source close to Mr. Jega said.

Our Presidency sources disclosed that Mr. Jonathan had started looking
for ways to remove the INEC chairman from office. “If they succeed in
postponing the elections, the president will either suspend Prof. Jega,
the way he did to former Central Bank Governor [Sanusi Lamido Sanusi] or
ask him to go on compulsory leave pending the end of his tenure.”

While Sahara Reporters was about to publish this report, several sources
told our reporters that President Jonathan and his co-travelers have
moved to the courts as a way of scuttling the elections, at least five
court cases have been filed to either postpone the elections and
disqualify the APC candidate , Muhammad Buhari. A reliable source told our team of investigators that President
Jonathan is shopping for a federal high court judge to scuttle the
elections with a court order in the next few hours.

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