January 4, 2022

AYCF faults list of Electoral Commissioners

AYCF faults list of Electoral Commissioners

Alleges persons of integrity are excluded

By Ibrahim Hassan-Wuyo

The Arewa Youth Consultative Forum( AYCF) has expressed worry over  the list of President Buhari’s appointees in  INEC , alleging that excluding some persons of integrity would endanger credibility in the service of Nigeria’s electoral umpire.

In a statement captioned ” INEC Commissioner  Nominees : Why is it that persons of proven integrity are endangered under President Buhari ?” which was signed by President of the AYCF, 77d , that the list containing names of Commissioners to be appointed into INEC clearly excluded persons that the Nigerian people have applauded for their undoubted commitment to credible elections, since they were appointment into the Election Management Body way back in 2011.

” Whereas no human being is indispensable, it is important to question the motive of removing Individuals that represent true reforms and integrity of our electoral process and expect Nigerians to hope for a credible elections in 2023.”

“Consequently, we at the AYCF have the following posers for President Muhammadu Buhari:-Why should Prof. Okey lbeanu, someone people in INEC regard as extremely brilliant with high integrity be denied tenure renewal because he supervised a credible election in Anambra?” 
“Why should an honest and straight-forward personality like AVM Mu’azu be refused a second tenure and why should the National Commissioner Engr. Nahuche, regarded as a very disciplined person, resign from INEC when our public institutions like the electoral body needs such people to promote and propagate the institutional values that INEC is meant to promote?” 

“Why should someone like the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) of Sokoto, Alhaji Sadiq Musa Abubakar  who  demonstrated character and integrity in the 2019 election not  appointed as a National Commissioner?”
“Why is it that under this administration, persons who demonstrate incorruptibility, a high sense of integrity are either exited from the system or are endangered while service, under the government of Mr. President who is reputed to be a man of integrity?”

“While we present these posers, it is also pertinent to ask ourselves critical questions about integrity and service to this nation:-“
” In this country, do we really have a book of remembrance? If we do, then we should have remembered that there were few exceptional individual RECs like Barrister MIKE IGINI (Esq) in the 2015 elections who stood their grounds at the risk of their lives for credible elections that made it possible for  president Buhari and others to win the election with legitimacy.”
“Why is it that these exceptional kind of people that the country truly need are now victims of the very system they have worked so hard to build and the system is being suffused with persons that will not lend legitimacy to election outcomes?”

“Why is it that these  few RECS that have shown uncommon integrity given the sensitive nature of INEC job  and others who exhibited the same character of consistency and did well in 2019 election are  now side-lined? How does a nation get a pool of the required critical mass of people to man its institutions to give credibility to process and outcome? If those who have shown competence and demonstrated good character are treated with disdain, what message is the president sending to the general public about integrity, if these few exceptional individuals are treated this manner? “

“If Mr President fails to review the list of Nominees for Senate and make changes, the clear message is that serving your country with integrity and honesty doesn’t matter anymore. That is why Nigerians are shocked that some of the serving RECS that Nigerians see as fetching symbol of hope that upright people are still in lNEC have all now been left out. The list of current nominees do not command public confidence of Nigerians because they are establishment and largely partisan proxy nominees,  a trend that Nigerian electoral history was forced to retreat from after the 2007 general election.”

‘The president is reputed as a man of integrity yet those who have proven record of integrity and competence in lNEC  and who have helped to provide much needed credibility to electoral outcomes since 2011, 2015 and 2019 from Northwest, NorthEast and South-south and who ought to be elevated as National commissioners have all been sacrificed because of their integrity and incorruptability on matters of election. This is clear retreat  and regression to the electoral fiascos of the past such as 2003 and 2007 that President Buhari himself decried when he participated in those election.”

“Our final warnin:  If this is not reversed, it may portend bad omen for the coming general elections and beyond.”

“We, therefore, call on Mr President, for sake of national interest and a need to safeguard  our electoral democracy in 2023, to recall the list sent to the Senate and appoint people who have proven records of commitment to electoral integrity that Nigerians already know nationwide. This is in order for Nigerians to have confidence in the preparations for the 2023 elect.”