Those calling for INEC boss’ sack are enemies of democracy – Civil Society Organisations
– Professor Mahmood Yakubu has for sometime been facing intense criticism from some individuals and groups
– The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) chairman has been facing calls for sack
– A coalition of Civil Society Organisations and election observer groups, have however dimissed the calls
A coalition of Civil Society Organisations and election observer groups have described those calling for the sack of the INEC chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu as enemies of Nigeria’s democracy.
The groups said the call was more of ethnic agenda, rather than about the development of the nation’s democracy, even as it urged Nigerians to disregard such calls.
Addressing a joint press conference in Abuja on Thursday, June 14, the executive director, Independent Service Delivery Monitoring Group, Dr. Chima Amadi as well as Ezenwa Nwagwu of Partners for Electoral Reforms, described those behind the call for Yakubu’s sack as “ethnic entrepreneurs who are determined to undermine the integrity of the electoral process and diminish the democratic gains our country has made since the return to civil rule in 1999.”
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Others who jointly addressed journalists included, Ledum Mitee, former MOSOP president, Okechukwu Nwanguma of the Network of Police Reform in Nigeria and Barrister Aminu Mahmud of Public Interest Lawyers League.
Dr Chima who addressed on behalf of the coalitions said the recent call by the Southern and Middle-Belt Leaders Forum for the sack of the INEC boss is unfortunate.
He explained that while the coalition is not holding forth for the INEC chairman, they are compelled to respond by stating the facts as they are and exposing the hollow claims of ethnic entrepreneurs, masquerading as leaders.
His words: “For us, the claim suggesting that the INEC chairman will rig the 2019 elections in favour of President Muhammadu Buhari is not only stupid but silly. If there are accumulated indications, they point to those successful governorship elections conducted in Bayelsa and Rivers states respectively by the same Professor Mahmood Yakubu and won by the opposition parties.
“Will these elders tell us that they are oblivious of the numerous elections conducted by the current INEC which produced different outcomes for different political parties irrespective of incumbency at both the federal or state level.
“The latest is the Ibarapa East state constituency bye-election in Oyo state in which the opposition party in the Sstate won the seat. This is significant against the background of the local government election in the state three weeks earlier in which the ruling party in the state won every chairmanship and councillorship constituency.
“Of course, the Anambra state governorship election is still fresh on our minds in which the candidate of the ruling party lost in every local government area to the extent that even the Ohaneze commended INEC for its transparency in conducting the elections? Two months later, the same INEC successfully concluded the Anambra central senatorial election after staying the course in a protracted legal battle.
“The Ondo governorship election was also a watershed. For the first time, the outcome of the election was not challenged in court because of its transparency although the three leading candidates were senior lawyers. This is significant given the fact that a number of previous governorship elections in the state were in fact determined by the courts.”
He further said if the INEC chairman was working for Buhari, he would have handed the aforementioned states over to the ruling party or secured victories for president and his party in recent tbye-elections held in Dukku North constituency in Gombe state, Ardo Kola in Taraba, Osun West Senatorial Zone won by opposition parties.