Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Northern Group fault Agbakoba’s call to sack INEC Chairman
The Ohanaeze Ndigbo Youth Council Worldwide and the Northern Emancipation Network (NEN) have disagreed with the former Chairman of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA,) Olisa Agbakoba over his advice to President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to remove the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, (INEC), Professor Mahmood Yakubu.
Recently, Agbakoba commended decisions taken by the Tinubu administration such as the sack of CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, the sack of EFCC Chairman, Abdulrasheed Bawa and the uniform exchange. Agbakoba also advised the President to sack INEC’s Yakub u.
However, in a statement issued on Saturday by the National President of the Igbo group, Mazi Okwu Nnabuike, the group called on President Tibunu not to sack the INEC boss.
Okwu said though he agreed with Agbakoba on the other decisions taken by the Tinubu presidency, there was no need for Yakubu’s sack at this material time.
The NEN in their statement signed by the Chairman, Sulaiman Abbah, said Agbakoba, should acknowledge the almost universal recognition of the February 2023 election as the most credible, free and fair, under the Yakubu led INEC.
Ohanaeze youth leader was of the view that “despite the shortcomings we witnessed during the 2023 general elections, it was one of the best elections ever conducted in Nigeria history.
“In the same election conducted by Yakubu, we had sitting governors lose elections across the country; we had popular National Assembly members lose election. This did not happen before in the country’s election.”
“We are not making excuses for the lapses during the elections, but it is wrong to totally disparage the efforts of the commission. There is no perfect election in any part of the world, even the United States, which prides itself as the capital of world democracy.”
Okwu advised that any attempt to remove Yakubu at this time would be ill-timed, as “aggrieved candidates are before the election tribunals ventilating their anger; how then can we remove the INEC chairman on whose table the bulk stops?Yakubu should be allowed to remain as the INEC helmsman at least pending the conclusion of the cases.”
He advised that efforts should be made to improve on the gains made during the 2023 general elections.
The Northern Group recounted that only in the most credibly conducted election process could seven serving Nigerian state governors lose bids to the Senate while in Kaduna and Kano for instance, the ruling All Progressives Congress lost almost all their Senate seats to the opposition.
“We join the vast majority of responsible Nigerians and the civilized global community in acknowledging that the elections conducted by Mahmud remain the most fair, free and credible in the recent history of Nigeria’s political development, ” the group said.