Clark, Adebayo, others call for removal of INEC chairman
– Leaders from the southern and Middle Belt region have urged the president to removal the chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC)
– The leaders led by Edwin Clark, Ayo Adebayo, Chukwuemeka Ezeife said they fear that INEC may not deliver free and fair elections in 2019
– According to the leaders, there is the possibility the commission would play partisan roles in the next election
Some leaders in Nigeria have called for the removal of the chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Mahmood Yakubu.
The leaders under the aegis of the Southern and Middle Belt Leaders Forum said they fear that INEC may not deliver free and fair elections in 2019, Punch reports.
The forum alleged the were indications that the INEC chairman might rig the forthcoming 2019 election.
Speaking during a press briefing in Abuja, on Sunday, the group represented by Edwin Clark, Ayo Adebanjo, Chukwuemeka Ezeife, Dan Suleiman, Nkanga Idongesit among others argued that retaining the service chiefs who ought to have retired and keeping Yakubu as INEC boss were suspicious.
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Speaking during the briefing, Idongesit alleged that there is the possibility the commission would play partisan roles in favour of the President.
“From 1960 till date, only President Muhammadu Buhari has been audacious to pick only people who are either his relations or of the same ethnic stock with him to lead the electoral body,” Idongesit said.
The Balewa Government headed by a Northerner appointed Prof. Eyo Ita Esua from the South, who was in charge of the Federal Electoral Commission from 1960-66; Gen. Olusegun Obasanjo, a Yoruba, set up the Federal Electoral Commission under Michael Ani (1976-1979). When Dr Goodluck Jonathan came in from the South-South, he appointed Prof. Attahiru Jega from the North-West (June 2010-Oct. 2015).
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“The relationship between the powerful Amina Zakari and the INEC chairman is so strong that it has the tendency to influence the outcome of the elections in favour of the appointee,” the Southern and Middle Belt leaders stressed,” he added.
Also condemning the killings across various states in Nigeria, Idongesit described the comment by the minister of defence, Mansur Dan-Ali, as an obnoxious directive.
He said: “The shielding of Fulani killer-herdsmen remains the strongest flashpoint of invitation to chaos and anarchy in our country as people would not continue to fold their arms forever as they are being killed with the government unwilling to lift a finger in their defence.”