By CHINELO OBOGO
A civil society organisation, the ‘Coalition in Defence of Nigerian Democracy and Constitution, has demanded for the resignation of the chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Mahmood Yakubu.
A co-convener of the group, Ariyo-Dare Atoye said in a statement that past inconclusive elections organised by INEC under Prof. Yakubu and the role it played prior to the Ondo elections, has allegedly diminished the confidence of Nigerians in the commission to act as an impartial umpire.
The statement reads in part: “Mahmood’s action in the recent Edo governorship poll has been called into serious question and we wonder why INEC is doing this. The honorable thing for him to do is to resign.
“The same INEC kowtowed to the interest of the ruling APC and postponed a governorship election in Edo State, without a shred of evidence, is claiming no justification to postpone the Ondo election despite preponderance of reasons to do so.
“For instance, a careful review of the electoral travesty foisted on the Ondo election process was caused by INEC’s own bad judgement and the curious failure to defend its own action as guaranteed by the electoral act.
“Unfortunately after the Appeal Court remedied this terrible situation, which was allowed and compounded by INEC, the commission again is callously shutting its doors against the man who suffered this incalculable damage, from enjoying a fair process.
“Any institution or leadership that cannot guarantee a fair process or make sacrifices to correct its own failings is unworthy of democratic medals and should in quick time be made to vacate public responsibilities.
“The present leadership of INEC has not shown any reasonable capacity and professionalism to successfully manage our electoral process. It is torn in between pleasing the ruling party and not offending its appointor.
“If INEC under Prof. Jega had put on the toga of pleasing the power that be then at all cost as we are currently experiencing in the present leadership, there would be no APC today.
“Nigerians are not unaware of the intricacies surrounding some major decisions of the commission that have portrayed it clearly as an umpire with biased decisions, serving only some vested interests which are driven largely by 2019 permutations.
“The decision of the Court of Appeal in the case between Ikpeazu and Ogah was enough to guide INEC against a ping-pong consideration of court orders until the processes have been meticulously decided.
“We fear how more desperate politicians are likely going to make a mess of this avoidable loopholes allowed by INEC in the 2019 general elections.”