Two opposition political parties, namely Action Alliance (AA) and Action Peoples Party (APP), have strongly disagreed with the recent call made by the Labour Party, through the Director General of the defunct Obi-Datti Presidential Campaign, Mr. Akin Osuntokun, for the resignation of Professor Mahmood Yakubu, the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
Both parties, in separate statements to journalists, criticized the Labour Party for needlessly stirring up public sentiment against the Independent National Electoral Commission. They urged the Labour Party to refrain from such actions.
Barrister Kenneth Udeze, the National Chairman of Action Alliance (AA), stated on Thursday night that the Labour Party resorted to mudslinging the INEC chairman after failing to establish its case at the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal. Udeze pointed out that litigants across the nation are relying on the reforms introduced by INEC to present their cases at various election petition tribunals. He further emphasized that the Labour Party, while utilizing these innovations, is paradoxically castigating and seeking to hound the INEC chairman.
“It is beyond belief that the party, while relying on the innovations introduced by the INEC chairman, still vilifies him,” Udeze expressed. He affirmed that Mahmood, as the leader of INEC, has spearheaded significant reforms to enhance the electoral process in Nigeria.
Similarly, the Action Peoples Party (APP) issued a separate statement expressing disappointment over the constant targeting of INEC as an easily available punching bag by the political class. The party’s acting National Chairman, Barrister Uche Nnadi, urged the Labour Party to await the decision of the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal (PEPT) and refrain from needlessly stirring up the Nigerian public against an exceptional public servant due to their predictable loss at the election.
Nnadi remarked, “It is worth noting that the political class remained silent when INEC facilities were attacked and targeted during the election buildup. For example, INEC facilities in the South East were repeatedly attacked and equipment was destroyed, yet individuals like Mr. Osuntokun made little or no comments.” He added, “While we acknowledge a few cases where politicians influenced INEC staff to manipulate the process, it is important to highlight that the Commission has shown commitment to prosecuting the culprits once such cases have been established.
By dismissing the call for the resignation of Professor Mahmood Yakubu, both the Action Alliance (AA) and Action Peoples Party (APP) emphasize the need to respect the ongoing legal processes and acknowledge the substantial contributions made by INEC under his leadership.