CSOs to Nigerians: Have confidence in INEC chair

Independent Service Delivery Monitoring Group (ISDMG), a civil society organisation, has called on Nigerians to rekindle their confidence in the competence of the Prof.
Mahmood Yakubu-led National Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in conducting credible elections.
The group’s Executive Director, Dr. Chima Amadi, who made the call yesterday in Abuja at a press briefing, called on all Nigerians to repose confidence in the leadership of INEC under Yakubu and “not allow themselves to be deceived by those who do not mean well.” He also enjoined the electorate to have faith in the elections process, stressing that past elections conducted by the Commission, under Yakubu, “have proved his unassailable integrity, competence and capacity to conduct free, fair and credible elections.” On the recent call by Southern and Middle Belt for the removal of INEC chairman, over fears that the INEC chairman “will rig the in favour of President Muhammadu Buhari, his Fulani kinsman,” the CSO said the Southern and Middle Belt leaders’ accusation was a “ludicrous position,” going by all the elections that had been conducted “so far under the watchful eyes of Professor Yakubu.” The press briefing had in attendance, representatives of other CSOs who equally endorsed the ISDGM position such as Barrister Aminu Mahmud, Public Interest Lawyers League, Olarinde Joseph, Yoruba Revolutionary Assembly, Comrade Sheriff Mulade, Centre for Peace and Justice and Ezenwa Nwagwu, Partners for Electoral Reforms and others.
Ledum Mitee equally endorsed the statement.
The Southern and Middle Belt leaders had, on Monday, claimed that INEC might not deliver free and fair elections in 2019.
“The bug of nepotism and sectionalism that this administration is renowned for has also eaten up the leadership of the Commission,” they had said.
The ISDMG, however, upbraided the leaders for always showing up to pull down to pull down INEC leadership just as they did to Prof. Attahiru Jega during his time.
“While we don’t hold the fort for INEC chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, we are compelled to respond by stating the facts as they are and exposing the hollow claims of ethnic entrepreneurs, masquerading as leaders.” Explaining further, ISDMG said: “It is interesting that this very same group was at work on the eve of the 2015 general elections when they called for the sack of and of the then INEC chairman, Prof. Jega.
They are doing the same as the 2019 general elections approach.” The group called on the Southern and Middle Belt leaders not to undermine the integrity of the electoral process and democratic gains the country had recorded so far, by their utterances.
Citing successful outcomes of recent elections conducted in Oyo, Ondo, Rivers, Bayelsa and which was even lauded by Ohaneze, by the current INEC leadership, some of which the opposition won, the group challenged the elders/leaders to check their records before speaking.
To further allay fears that the elections would be rigged, ISDMG stated: “That Professor Mahmood Yakubu is of the same ethnic stock with the President doesn’t make him less qualified or incapable of discharging the electoral and constitutional functions and lawful duties of his office.”

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