Nigeria2015: Don’t remove Jega, CNPP warns Jonathan

Former INEC Chairman, Prof. Attahiru Jega

The Conference of Nigerian Political Parties, CNPP, has expressed outrage over alleged plot by the presidency to remove the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Attahiru Jega, from office before the expiration of his tenure in June.

Media reports claimed at the weekend that the presidency had shortlisted four INEC national commissioners one of who would be selected to take over from Mr. Jega who might be directed to proceed on pre-retirement leave this week.

In a statement by its spokesperson, Osita Okechukwu, on Sunday, the CNPP cautioned President Goodluck Jonathan against sacking the INEC chairman as that would amount to illegality.

“For the avoidance of doubt, Jega as chairman of INEC is neither a civil servant nor has been indicted and therefore conditionalities applicable to civil servants are not applicable to his appointment as chairman of INEC,” the group said.

It said the removal of the INEC chairman has been explicitly stated in Section 157 of the 1999 Constitution, which says “person holding any of the offices to which this section applies may only be removed from that office by the president acting on an address supported by two-third majority of the Senate praying that he be so removed for inability to discharge the functions of the office….”

Reminding Mr. Jonathan that the month of March is a notorious date in the Roman calendar, the CNPP said “Mr President should beware of Ides of March, go ahead and allow Jega to conclude the elections, unless he wants to fan the embers of some doomsayers that had predicted the disintegration of Nigeria.”

The group also reminded the president of the unintended consequences of the endless transition programme initiated by former military ruler, Ibrahim Babangida, during which he mangled and manipulated the presidential election in 1993.

It said, “Granted that General Babangida survived the annulment of the June 12 presidential elections, it tainted irretrievably his regime and cost our dear countrymen blood, sweat and tears, this is avoidable as it definitely will be more disastrous, and may lead to bloodshed.

“Unfortunately, like in 1993, Jonathan Must Stay Campaigners typical of the defunct Association of Better Nigeria led by self-serving Senator Arthur Nzeribe are mutating and intensifying their campaigns for the elongation of Jonathan’s regime for less than altruistic motives.”

The CNPP recounted that in 2010 when the late President Umaru Yar’Adua was incapacitated, in coalition with other patriots, civil society organizations and the Save Nigeria Group, it went to Abuja streets and other major cities in the country to canvass the confirmation of Mr. Jonathan, then vice president, as acting president and eventually full president.

It said, “In gratitude, President Jonathan promised SNG delegation to implement fully the core ingredients of the Justice Mohammed Uwais Electoral Reform Committee recommendations, among which is public recruitment of chairman, National and Resident Electoral Commissioners of the Independent National Elections (INEC) and burden of proof to rest with INEC.

“On assumption of office via doctrine of necessity and on the eve of the 2011 general elections, Mr. President reneged on the promise of public recruitment of the chairman and officials of the INEC and appointed Professor Jega as chairman. Jega returned him as president, with tons of praises by Chief Edwin Clark and co, same clan who are today calling for Jega’s head. The rest they say is history.”


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  • progress

    If Jonah refuses to go easily after losing the election he will go by force in disgrace!

  • Gaskiya

    Jonathan is inviting disaster to himself. We pray the disaster affects him alone.

  • Citizen

    I pray this man will not push himself to this great mistake that may consume everything we have

  • Omooba Adekunle Orafidiya

    Jega should have been sacked eons ago, because he has compromised his office and betrayed public trust by conniving with APC/Buhari to register tens of millions of under-age voters in the NE and NW. If he did not have his own agenda of installing senile, illiterate certificate forger and perjurer Buhari as President, he would not have claimed to be prepared to conduct elections as previously scheduled in February, when he would have disenfranchised 24m voters in his bid to actualize his agenda. As of yesterday, close to 2m voter cards are yet to be produced in far away China (not to talk of distribution. This state of affairs is indefensible after all of 4 years of preparation. Falana and Itse Sagay’s opinions are beclouded by politics. They should be discountenanced. Jega must go. There’s no hard and fast rule that says only Jega must conduct elections in a country of 170m people.

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  • Bassey.

    Hmmmmmmmm, I think the president is actually on this issue. I trust his moves and I know for sure that he knows exactly what to do.

  • JibrilMusagroup

    INEC must not be in a hurry to “throw the country into confusion and turmoil by conducting election amidst mirage of
    complaints of non-availability of Permanent Voter Cards, PVCs. President Goodluck Jonathan Is constantly looking out for Nigerians, he always has our interest at heart. The result has beenthat elections in Nigeria under President Goodluck
    watch have been credible and transparent as has been attested to by local and international observers. Vote President Goodluck for transformation. #goodluck4president

  • GusO

    I agree that it is not suicide. The perpetrators of his murder must be brought to justice. He did not leave a suicide note.