A group of ethnic youth leaders in the country has alleged that some senators are plotting to ensure removal of the chairman of INEC, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, ahead of the 2023 general elections.
The group, under the aegis of Nigerian Ethnic Youths Leaders Council (NEYLC), has, however, warned against the move.
Media reports lately have been suggesting that some politicians were moving against Yakubu over INEC’s insistence on using the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) in next year’s general elections.
As part of the plan, the politicians were said to be planning to instigate the National Assembly to pass a vote of no confidence which could lead to Yakubu’s suspension or removal.
According to the 1999 Constitution, as amended, the president can only remove the INEC chairman on the strength of a recommendation by the senate.
The president will have to rely on the nod of two-thirds of members of the senate, the nation’s highest law-making body to discipline the INEC chairman.
But the NEYLC, which is made up of the Arewa Consultative Youths Movement (ACYM), Ohanaeze Ndigbo Youths Movement, Oduduwa Youths and Middle Belt Youths, made their position known in a statement by the Ohanaeze Youth Movement Secretary-General and Head of Coalition’s secretariat, Nwada Ike amaka.
The group said the plan to use the senate to shake Yakubu so that he could jettison the use of BVAS may lead to an electoral crisis.
It, therefore, called on President Muhammadu Buhari to stop the removal of the INEC boss so that they don’t truncate the nation’s democracy under his watch.
The statement read, “Credible information available to us through our usual genuine sources that some senators are already plotting to ensure the removal of the INEC chairman through the back door.
“We are crying out loud to president Buhari to call all the people involved to order so that they don’t cause an unnecessary electoral crisis for the country.
“Let it be known that the majority of Nigerians are satisfied with the use of BVAS for elections and no amount of pressure from these self-centered politicians will make INEC change its position on it.
“We are also sounding a note of warning to them to stop distracting Prof Yakubu but rather allow him to concentrate on his onerous task of delivering credible elections for the country in 2023.
“If they do not desist, we shall not hesitate to mention the names of the senators who have been compromised to wage war against the INEC chairman.”