AA, APP Flay Call for INEC Chair’s Removal by Labour Party

Emameh Gabriel in Abuja 

The Action Alliance (AA) and Action Peoples Party (APP) have described as unfortunate the call by the Labour Party (LP) for the resignation of the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Mahmood Yakubu.

The Labour Party had, through the Director General of the defunct Obi-Datti Presidential Campaign, Akin Osuntokun, called for the immediate sack and prosecution of Yakubu over what it described as betrayal of the people’s trust and an abysmal performance by the commission during the 2023 general election.

In a statement Thursday, Mr Kenneth Udeze, the National Chairman of AA, accused the LP of discrediting the INEC boss having failed to establish its case at Presidential Election Petition Tribunal.

According to Udeze, LP and its public facing organs are seeking to distract the public from the reality that their candidate, Mr. Peter Obi, did not win the 2023 presidential election and could not realistically have won it. 

He said it is reforms introduced by INEC that litigants are relying on to present their cases at various election petition tribunals across the nation.

“Assuming without conceding, the elections were manipulated, the Labour Party can only prove its case using the instrumentality of the innovations promoted and defended by the INEC chairman. It beggars belief that while relying on innovations introduced by the INEC chairman, the party still castigates him and seeks to hound him,” Udeze said.

He said it is without doubt that INEC under the leadership of Yakubu has introduced the most far-reaching innovations to improve the electoral process in Nigeria. 

Also, the APP, in a separate statement, said It is unfortunate that INEC has become an easily available punching bag at whom the political class targets to manipulate the system or at whom the political class targets its anger.

The statement, signed by Mr Uche Nnadi, the party’s acting National Chairman, asked the LP to await the PEPT decision and refrain from needlessly stirring up the Nigerian public against an outstanding public servant because of their easily predicted loss at the election.

He said: “It is on record that the political class stood by while INEC facilities were targeted and attacked in the build-up to the elections. For instance, INEC facilities in the South-east were constantly attacked and equipment destroyed with little or no comments from people such as Mr. Osuntokun. 

“We will be the first to admit that there were a few cases where politicians induced INEC staff to manipulate the process. However, it is on record that where these cases have been established, the commission has demonstrated a commitment to prosecuting the perpetrators of these acts.”

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