The Centre for Public Accountability (CPA) on Friday expressed worry over what it described as “campaign of calumny” on the Chairman of Independent National Electoral Commission, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, as well as persistent call for his removal ahead of the general elections by the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.
The call for the sack of the INEC Boss, according to CPA, in a statement issued on Friday in Lagos and signed by its Director of Programmes, Oluwatobi Johnson, violates Section I57 of the Nigerian Constitution which guarantees the Independence of INEC.
It said the recent call for the sack of the INEC Chairman, by the National Chairman of the PDP, Chief Uche Secondus, fell far outside the bounds of fair exchanges, adding that political stakeholders should show “appropriate respect for the role of INEC, its independence, and the channels for appropriate discourse”.
It further said the INEC, over the past few years, have demonstrated its commitment, towards ensuring that elections are more credible and ultimately, that the electoral process is owned by Nigerians. This the INEC under the current leadership, has continued to exhibit, to the satisfaction of the Nigerian people, particularly stakeholders, within the electoral circle.
“As an organization that has over the past few years, carefully study the operations of INEC, we sincerely believe that the persistent call for the removal of the commission’s Chairman is unpatriotic, and sends a wrong signal to the ordinary Nigerians, who ordinarily believes that the INEC and its entire national leadership, should be free from threat.”
“May we hereby advise the PDP, that rather than pushing too hard for such an impossible task of getting the INEC Chairman relieved of his position, the party should concentrate more on marketing its programmes to Nigerians, while also supporting stakeholders efforts, at ensuring the success of the 2019 elections.” the statement concluded.