The Minister of Communications, Alhaji Adebayo Shittu, on Monday opposed the call for the resignation of the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Prof Mahmood Yakubu, by the National Chairman of the ruling All Progressives Congress, Adams Oshiomhole, over the postponement of the presidential and National Assembly elections.
Shittu, who spoke with reporters on Monday, faulted Oshiomhole’s call, saying the former Edo State governor was also guilty of superintending the “worst party’s primaries in recent times”.
Should Yakubu heed Oshiomhole’s call to resign, the minister said the development might affect the conduct of the rescheduled general elections.
He said, “When Oshiomhole supervised horrible primary elections of the party, who called for his resignation?”
According to him, even if the INEC boss resigns, the elections may be postponed for the new chairman to prepare for fresh elections.
Shittu said, “I will not support such a call for the resignation of the INEC chairman. To err is human. We have not seen any political motivation as to what happened at INEC. If Oshiomhole calls for the resignation of the INEC chairman, he should also be preparing to resign as the chairman of our party.
“Did anybody ask him to resign for the horrible management of the primary elections under his watch?
“These are the first elections that Yakubu will be conducting, so we need to give him the benefit of the doubt and I will advise that all the political parties should be vigilant. If you bring in another chairman, when does such a 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 the resignation of the INEC chairman.”
On the ban on campaigns 24 hours before the elections, the lawyer said the ban could not be justified by the commission, saying the constitutional provisions stipulating 24 hours before the elections should be upheld.
He added, “In largely illiterate areas many of the electorate must have forgotten what they had been taught, particularly how to vote and how to identify party logos. I will say any ban extended beyond 24 hours will not be justified by anyone.”