INEC top man reveals how he rejected huge money to rig 2019 elections

The Kwara State Resident Electoral Commissioner, REC of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Garba Attahiru Madam has revealed how he rejected huge amount of money from politicians in the state to rig the 2019 elections.

Madam was speaking to journalists in Minna, Niger state during his daughter’s wedding.

He said: “There was pressure by politicians, who offered me money to compromise the 2019 general elections in Kwara State, but I stood my ground and refused to give in.

“The nature of our job at the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is too tempting.

“It is left between you and God to do the right thing and keep your integrity or compromise and lose your integrity. You may even go to jail.”

The REC added: “As I am talking to you, I will not call the name of anyone or the name of any party. But the fact I tell you is true. Millions were brought to me to compromise the elections, even girls were sent to influence me to make me compromise, but I made sure I did not fall into their plans.”

He said he had to use the Department of State Security (DSS) and the swapping strategy to ensure that his staff did not compromise the elections.

The REC said while taking up the job as the REC in Kwara State, he was aware that the general elections would be a risky one.

“I was determined that nothing will manipulate me in any way. I knew Kwara State was in the eye of the world and I was determined to be the one, who will make Nigeria proud in conducting the freest, fairest and most transparent elections the state had ever had,” the electoral commissioner said.

He denounced a situation where politicians think they can buy people’s conscience to do their dirty work.

Madami said: ”The politicians have money and some of them feel that they can buy anybody with the money.

“It is a matter of integrity; it is left for you to be careful and work transparently to keep your integrity.

“What I did in Kwara State before the elections was to go on air and tell the people that no amount of money can buy me. I made them to understand that their votes will count and was not ready to compromise,” he said.

He said the 765 cases before the elections petition tribunal across the country were instituted owing to lack of internal democracy by political parties.

“If the various political parties respect their constitutions and do the needful, you will have less to worry about,” he said.

According to Madami, INEC was the most organised agency in the country “because all the systems are working”.

“All the personnel and departments are functioning. In other words, INEC is working,” he said.

Madami said one of his major challenges was to unite the staff of the commission for optimal performance.

“I thank God that today my staff are doing well,” he said.