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 Jega’s removal could derail polls – Kwara, Osun govs

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PostSubject: Jega’s removal could derail polls – Kwara, Osun govs   2015-03-02, 04:28

The Osun State Governor, Rauf
Aregbesola, and his Kwara State
counterpart, Abdulfatah Ahmed,
have described the plot to remove
the Chairman, Independent
National Electoral Commission, Prof.
Attahiru Jega, as dangerous.
Speaking with one of our
correspondents on Sunday,
Aregbesola said that the plot
reflected desperation on the part of
the Peoples Democratic Party-led
Federal Government.
He said, “It is obvious that they
(PDP) are desperate. A desperate
person is a dangerous person. This
country is bigger than anybody.
“They have postponed elections.
They are planning an interim
government, they are engaging in
all manners of scheming. They are
showing acute desperation. With
all these undemocratic and uncivil
acts, they are leading Nigeria to the
path of turmoil.
“The whole world must be told that
they must be held responsible for
whatever happens to Nigeria. Why
can’t they allow the ordered
election timetable to go on as
planned and, through that, allow
democracy to grow in our land?”
Also, Ahmed urged President
Goodluck Jonathan to consider the
negative impacts the planned
removal of Jega would have on the
forthcoming general elections.
He warned that the move to
remove Jega before the elections
could give the impression of
attempts to undermine the
transparency and credibility of the
March 28 and April 11 polls.
He spoke in an interview with
journalists in Ilorin on Sunday on
the sidelines of the ongoing
campaign/consultative meeting
with some stakeholders in Kwara
The governor reminded the Federal
Government to take into
cognisance, the attention of the
international community, saying
that any action to remove Jega
would make the general elections
lack credibility.
He stated that it would be plausible
to allow Jega to conduct the
elections whose process he had
already started.
Ahmed said, “The sensitivity of the
role of Jega in today’s electoral
process is so crucial that we cannot
handle his exit with levity,
especially as the current electoral
process is drawing a lot of attention
both locally and internationally.
“So, it is very important that we
ensure that the right things are
done to ensure that this electoral
process is allowed to follow its
course as encapsulated in the new
timetable, both the umpire and the
processes are allowed to go on
“We are aware that some
stakeholders are not comfortable
with Jega’s preparedness for the
election. We have seen how
attempts have been made in
picking holes with the current
arrangement which has been
adjudged to be better than the
preparation we had in 2011.
“But be that as it may, the
consequence of replacing him is
like changing the rules in the
middle of the game which I think
will affect negatively people’s
perception to the seriousness in
ensuring a proper electoral process
and ultimately good governance in
Meanwhile, the Chairman of the
Senate Committee on Drugs,
Narcotics, Financial Crimes and Anti-
Corruption, Senator Victor Lar, on
Sunday, clarified that the meeting
held by the PDP senators last week
in Asokoro, Abuja, did not discuss
any issue relating to the fate of
Lar told one of our correspondents
that the meeting was held in the
residence of the Senate leader,
Victor Ndoma-Egba, to discuss how
to secure the party’s and
Presidency’s support for members.
He said the meeting looked into
how the PDP senators would
present a common front before the
party and President Jonathan so
that adequate support would be
given to those who are contesting
and how those not contesting
would be relevant in the next
Lar boasted that the PDP senators
would beat all their opponents
through the ballot and not by
trying to cause confusion in INEC.
He said, “There is no such move
either among the PDP senators or
members of the party in the House
of Representatives to set the top
officials of INEC against Jega as
being alleged by the opposition
“By the way, how did the APC know
that INEC commissioners have
issues with Jega? The APC should
not involve itself in self delusion.
The party is giving an impression
that only Jega can conduct a free
and fair poll in the country. It is not
“Jega is an appointee of the Federal
Government and President
Jonathan who reserves the right to
remove or retain him, has said he
had no plans to sack him before the
“The APC senators should know that
they cannot win elections by
making grave allegations that have
no substance. Majority of the noise
makers among them may not even
have the Permanent Voter Cards.
“Our meeting held last week not in
any hotel but in the residence of
the Senate Leader in Asokoro. It did
not discuss anything that has to do
with Jega but on how to guarantee
the continued relevance of our
colleagues who are not contesting
the National Assembly election.
“The meeting also fashioned out
strategies to secure support for the
members who are contesting the
election on the party’s platform
and the Presidency so that they
could be victorious.”
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