By Wale Akinola
Accusing Professor Attahiru Jega, the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), of collaborating with some northern leaders to skew the presidential election in favour of the North, Chief E.K. Clark, Dr Alex Ekwueme and Archbishop Ayo Ladigbolu, yesterday, passed a vote of no confidence on Jega.
Consequently, they asked him to resign as INEC boss.
The eminent Nigerians spoke under the aegis of Southern Nigeria Peoples Assembly (SNPA) with Clark representing South-south; Ekwueme (South-east) and Ladigbolu (South-west).
Their four-point demand included “the immediate postponement of the February 14 presidential election to allow for the reconstitution, repositioning and processing of INEC to discharge its responsibility of conducting on impartial election.”
The SNPA, in a statement, cited meetings between the INEC chief’s representative and some northern leaders allegedly geared at influencing the presidential election to favour the North.
In the statement entitled, ‘Unholy Conspiracy between the INEC and a Northern Group with Intent to Install a Northern President through Rigging’, the southern leaders said: “Professor Jega should and must resign his appointment immediately as the Chairman of INEC because he has lost our confidence to organise a credible election devoid of the shenanigans of some northern leaders.
“There should be immediate postponement of the February 14, 2015 presidential election to allow for the reconstitution, repositiong and reprocessing of INEC to discharge its responsibility of conducting an impartial election.
“We call for the immediate arrest of Prof. Attahiru Jega for allowing the procurement of PVCs for under-aged pupils in contravention of the provisions of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as Amended) and the Electoral Act 2010.
“Where the Federal Government fails to take decisive action on these demands, we shall employ and mobilize with all ounce of energy at our disposal to ensure that there is no election in any part of southern Nigeria.
“We wish to remind Mr. President that the Federal Government has the sacrosanct duty to maintain peace and order and to protect the lives and property of the citizens of this country. Therefore, government must not allow itself to be intimidated by any group of persons to conduct the elections under these uncertain circumstances that could culminate in the break down of law and order in the country. The consequences may be too grave for Nigeria to bear.”