From Noah Ebije, Kaduna
National President, Arewa Youth Consultative Forum (AYCF), Alhaji Shettima Yerima has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to scrutinise the names sent to the Senate for confirmation as Commissioners for Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to ensure men of outstanding integrity and capability are picked.
A statement by Yerima said anything short of appointing credible persons as INEC Commissioners, the credibility of the 2023 general elections may be jeopardised.
“If this is not reversed, it may portend bad omen for the coming general elections and beyond.
“We, therefore, call on Mr President, for the sake of national interest and a need to safeguard our electoral democracy in 2023, to recall the list sent to the Senate and appoint people who have proven records of commitment to electoral integrity that Nigerians already know nationwide. This is in order for Nigerians to have confidence in the preparations for the 2023 elections” he said.
He said, It is shocking and highly disappointing to many Nigerians, that the list containing names of Commissioners to be appointed into INEC clearly excluded persons that the Nigerian people have applauded for their undoubted commitment to credible elections, since they were appointment into the Election management body way back in 2011.
In his words; “While no human being is indispensable, it is important to question the motive of removing individuals that represent true reforms and integrity of our electoral process and expect Nigerians to hope for a credible elections in 2023”.
AYCF therefore queried, “why should Prof. Okey lbeanu, someone people in INEC regard as extremely brilliant with high integrity be denied tenure renewal because he supervised a credible election in Anambra?
“Why should an honest and straight-forward personality like AVM Mu’azu be refused a second tenure and why should the National Commissioner Engr. Nahuche, regarded as a very disciplined person, resign from INEC when our public institutions like the electoral body needs such people to promote and propagate the institutional values that INEC is meant to promote?
“Why should someone like the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) of Sokoto, Alhaji Sadiq Musa Abubakar who demonstrated character and integrity in the 2019 election not appointed as a National Commissioner?
“Why is it that under this administration, persons who demonstrate incorruptibility, a high sense of integrity are either exited from the system or are endangered while service, under the government of Mr. President who is reputed to be a man of integrity?
“In this country, do we really have a book of remembrance? If we do, then we should have remembered that there were few exceptional individual RECs like Barrister Mike Igini (Esq) in the 2015 elections who stood their grounds at the risk of their lives for credible elections that made it possible for president Buhari and others to win the election with legitimacy”.
AYCF therefore wants the few RECS that have shown uncommon integrity given the sensitive nature of INEC job and others who exhibited the same character of consistency and did well in 2019 election.
AYCF said that, “if Mr President fails to withdraw and review the list of nominees sent to the Senate and make changes, the clear message is that serving your country with integrity and honesty doesn’t matter anymore”.