Apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo Youth Council Worldwide has faulted calls for the removal of the chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Mr. Mahmoud Yakubu.
A former Chairman of the Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, Olisa Agbakoba, SAN, had advised President Bola Tinubu to fire Yakubu.
Agbakoba had praised key decisions already taken by the Tinubu administration, including the sack of CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, as well as EFCC chairman, Bawa Abdulrasheed and the uniform exchange rate. He asked Tinubu to take a step forward and sack Yakubu.
But in a statement made available to journalists on Saturday by the National President of the Igbo group, Mazi Okwu Nnabuike, he urged Tibunu not to throw away the baby with the bath water.
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.
He 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 further advised that any attempt to remove Yakubu at this time was ill-timed, stressing that “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 further advised that efforts should be made to improve on the gains made during the 2023 general elections.