Buhari’s minister tackles Oshiomhole, says he has no moral right to attack INEC chairman

National Chairman of All Progressives Congress, (APC), Adams Oshiomhole (m), addressing State House Correspondents after a meeting with the Chief of Staff to the President, Abba Kyari at the State House Abuja on Monday (23/7/18). With him are Spokesperson for President Muhammadu Buhari’s 2019 Campaign, Festus Keyamo (L) and former member of the House of Representatives from Birnin-Kudu in Jigawa State. Hon. Farouk Aliyu Adamu. 03946/23/7/18/Ismaila Ibrahim/NAN
National Chairman of All Progressives Congress, (APC), Adams Oshiomhole 03946/23/7/18/Ismaila Ibrahim/NAN

Adams Oshiomhole is a terrible electoral umpire and has no moral pedigree to call for the resignation of the chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), a minister has said.

The Minister of Communications, Adebayo Shittu, stated this at his home in Ibadan on Monday while addressing journalists.

Mr Shittu sought to be the governor of Oyo State on the platform of the ruling party, APC. He was disqualified from contesting the primaries by an APC screening committee set up by the leadership of the party. Mr Oshiomhole, the APC national chairman, had questioned Mr Shittu’s governorship ambition after the minister was exposed by PREMIUM TIMES for skipping the mandatory National Youth Service Corps.

On Monday, Mr Shittu also rejected calls for the removal of Mahmood Yakubu as the INEC chairman.

He said the removal of Mr Yakubu due to INEC’s postponement of the general elections may cause more havoc to the commission.

INEC under Mr Yakubu had in the early hours of Saturday announced the postponement of the presidential and National Assembly elections to February 23 from February 16. It also announced the postponement of the governorship and state assembly elections from March 2 to March 9.

Mr Yakubu has been criticised by many Nigerians including Mr Oshiomhole with some calling for his resignation.

But Mr Shittu, while addressing journalists at his Ibadan residence on Monday, said even if the INEC chairman leaves office now, the election may need to be postponed for the incoming chairman to prepare for fresh elections that would be credible, free and fair.

He then attacked Mr Oshiomhole saying he had no moral right to attack the INEC chairman.

“When Oshiomhole supervised that party primaries elections, which can be described as most horrible and corrupt in the history of the party, who called for his resignation?

“I will not support such call for resignation of the INEC chairman. To err is human. We have not seen any political motivation as to what has happened in INEC.

“If Oshiomhole calls for resignation of the INEC chairman, he should also be preparing to resign as chairman of APC for conducting primaries marred by irregularities, and even accused of corruption in its conduct. Did anybody ask him to resign for the horrible management of primary elections under his watch?”

Mr Oshiomhole was criticised by many leaders of the APC including first lady Aisha Buhari for his handling of the APC primaries across the country. Many of the primaries were marred by allegations of fraud, manipulation, improper interference and violence. The APC chairman was also questioned by the State Security Service after some members of his party accused him of receiving bribes during the primaries.

In defending Mr Yakubu, Mr Shittu argued that this was the first general election to be supervised by the lecturer.

“This is the first election that Professor Yakubu would be conducting, so we need to give him the benefit of doubt and I will advise that all the political parties should be vigilant.

“If you bring in another chairman, when does such person begin to learn the process? Or will you on the basis of that call for another rescheduling of the elections? Certainly, it is unacceptable for anyone to ask for resignation of INEC chairman.”

Mr Shittu also said political parties should be allowed to continue campaigns till 24 hours before the elections based on the electoral law. INEC had initially said campaigns remain suspended despite the postponement of the elections. The electoral body, however, reversed itself on Monday evening.

Support PREMIUM TIMES' journalism of integrity and credibility

 

Good journalism costs a lot of money. Yet only good journalism can ensure the possibility of a good society, an accountable democracy, and a transparent government.

For continued free access to the best investigative journalism in the country we ask you to consider making a modest support to this noble endeavour.

By contributing to PREMIUM TIMES, you are helping to sustain a journalism of relevance and ensuring it remains free and available to all.

Donate


NEVER MISS A THING AGAIN! Subscribe to our newsletter

* indicates required

DOWNLOAD THE PREMIUM TIMES MOBILE APP

Now available on

  Premium Times Android mobile applicationPremium Times iOS mobile applicationPremium Times blackberry mobile applicationPremium Times windows mobile application

TEXT AD: This space is available for a Text_Ad.. Call Willie on +2347088095401 for more information


All rights reserved. This material and any other material on this platform may not be reproduced, published, broadcast, written or distributed in full or in part, without written permission from PREMIUM TIMES.