The Ohanaeze Ndigbo Youth Council Worldwide and the Northern Emancipation Network, the apex Igbo socio-cultural organization, have condemned efforts to remove the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu.
Former President of the Nigerian Bar Association, Olisa Agbakoba, had called on President Bola Tinubu to dismiss INEC Chairman.
The Senior Advocate of Nigeria, who praised the Tinubu administration’s key decisions thus far, including the dismissal of the Central Bank of Nigeria Governor, Godwin Emefiele, and the chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Bawa Abdul-rasheed, urged the president to dismiss the INEC Chairman.
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However, in a statement given to journalists in Kaduna on Saturday, Mazi Okwu Nnabuike, National President of the Ohaneze Nd’Igbo Youth Council, advised President Tibunu not to “throw away the baby with the bath water.”
Okwu stated that, while he agreed with Agbakoba on the Tinubu presidency’s other actions, there was no necessity for Yakubu’s dismissal at this time.
Sulaiman Abbah, Chairman of the Northern Emancipation Network, called Agbakoba’s request for INEC’s Chairman to be fired as sad.
Despite the inadequacies experienced at the 2023 general elections, the Ohanaeze youth leader believes it was one of the best elections ever held in Nigeria’s history.
He said, “In the same election conducted by Yakubu, we had sitting governors lose elections across the country; we had popular National Assembly members lose the election. This did not happen before in the country’s election.
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“We are not making excuses for the lapses during the elections, but it is wrong to totally disparage the efforts of the commission.
“There is no perfect election in any part of the world, even the United States, which prides itself as the capital of world democracy.
“Any attempt to remove Yakubu at this time was ill-timed as aggrieved candidates are before the election tribunals ventilating their anger; how then can we remove the INEC chairman on whose table the buck stops?
“Yakubu should be allowed to remain as the INEC helmsman at least pending the conclusion of the cases.”
The Chairman of the NEN, for his part, stated that Agbakoba’s request for the sack of the INEC chairman could be a result of the defeat suffered by his chosen party, the Labour Party, in the country’s recent elections.
He said, “How can anybody in his right senses, fail to see credibility and fairness in an election in which Bola Tinubu for instance, lost his major enclave of Lagos or where Buhari, a sitting president at that time lost his two main catchment states of Katsina and Kaduna to opposition parties.
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“It is ridiculous, unfortunate and embarrassing that Agbakoba and his ilk would not be fair as to see the simple fairness in an election that saw for instance, the ruling APC lost the governorship offices of Kano and Zamfara States to the opposition.
“We join the vast majority of responsible Nigerians and the civilized global community in acknowledging that the elections conducted by Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, remain the most fair, free and credible in the recent history of Nigeria’s political development.”
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