The recent call for the sack of the National Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof Mahmoud Yakubu, is part of a growing attempt by ethnic entrepreneurs to undermine the integrity of the electoral process, a coalition of civil society organisations (CSOs) has said.
The group which included Independent Service Delivery Monitoring Group (ISDMG), a transparency advocacy organization, partners for electoral reforms, public interest lawyers league, and a host others, which gave the indication during a press conference yesterday in Abuja, also added that the call was in bad faith, self-serving and unconstitutional.
Recall that a group of elders under the auspices of Southern and Middle Belt Leaders Forum recently called for the removal of Yakubu ahead of the 2019 general elections, citing his being from the north like President Muhammadu Buhari as their reason.
The elders therefor said the INEC boss may rig the forthcoming Presidential election in favour of Buhari because they are from the same part of the country.
Condemning the position of the elders, the groups maintained that, while they did not hold fort for Yakubu, it has become the stock in trade of the said elders to always call for removal of INEC bosses close to elections year. They maintained that the immediate past INEC boss, Prof. Attahiru Jega, suffered same fate from the same group of elders, prior to the 2015 polls.
While speaking further, the Executive Director of ISDMG, Dr Chima Amadi, said that rather than castigate Yakubu, he should be commended for not only sustaining the existing electoral strictures, but also for building and improving on them, thereby giving the electorate hope in the electoral process.
In the same vein, Ezenwa Nwagwu of Partners for Electoral Reforms, noted that the country has been moving forward and Nigerians have come to have confidence in the electoral process since Yakubu assumed leadership of the commission, hence, he should be allowed to continue with the assignment given to him.
Similarly, Barr Aminu Mahmud of Public Interest Lawyers League, urged Nigerians to be at alert of agents that could derail electoral process, and be ready to exercise their franchise during the forthcoming elections.
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