Lawyer and social critic, Fred Agbaje, has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to sack the new chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu if he does not quit owing to incompetence, while saying he should be held responsible for the death of the APC governorship candidate in Kogi, Prince Abubakar Audu.
Agbaje in an interview said: “I am very worried. Apart from being a lawyer, I am a Nigerian who has one of the greatest stakes in the development of this country. It is shocking that barely three months or thereabout after the appointment of Professor Mahmood Yakubu as chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Nigerians have suddenly woken up to another political lexicon which is ‘inconclusive election.’
“The two elections are the ones Prof. Yakubu would be conducting and at the end of the day, we are meeting a brick wall called inconclusive election.
“In other word, it is like the INEC helmsman is becoming too fascinated with uncritical embrace of that phrase, inconclusive election. If to him, the phrase does not mean anything, to us as Nigerians, to the people who go out to queue up in the sun to vote in the inconclusive elections, it tells on them time wise, money wise.
“The economy is paralysed for the whole day and yet somebody will wake up from the wrong side of his bed and tell Nigerians that the election that they themselves have taken so many months to prepare for, is inconclusive. It shows the following: that the INEC helmsman is grossly incompetent; is not serious for the job; is ill prepared and does not know the gravity of what election is all about in this country. That is what I will call the height of insensitivity.
“I must say this, INEC must be held responsible for the death of Prince Abubakar Audu because the shocking announcement by INEC that the election was inconclusive must have taken its toll on the man who had traversed the entire Kogi campaigning. The man was already leading clearly only for somebody in Abuja who does not know the ABC of his office to declare such an election that so many people had staked their lives inconclusive.
“As far as I am concerned, that the new INEC man is still there today, is shocking to me. Because by now, I felt the Federal Government should have told him good night.
“The man should be thrown into the employment field; he should go and find something else to do. Like they say in the Yoruba part of the world that I come from, morning shows the day. If the two governorship elections that have been given to the professor to conduct have been found somersaulting, what do we expect to happen to the next general election in 2019? We are going to get the worst result. And if President Muhammadu Buhari, as part of his change mantra, does not change the professor at the helms in INEC, that professor will change Nigeria for bad.
“This is the stage where the Justice Uwais Report that deals with the appointment of INEC boss, should come in. This idea of the Presidency alone single handedly handpicking the headship of INEC, is not only morally reprehensible, condemnable, wicked but politically megalomaniacal. The post of INEC chairman should be advertised and let credible and qualified Nigerians apply and the man with the highest scores should clinch the job.
“The president who himself will find himself in the political arena in future should stop dabbling in the affairs and handpicking the INEC boss. It is politically unjust and that is the result we are seeing in Professor Yakubu’s mal-appointment and misappointment. Look at what has happened in the two governorship elections the man has conducted; it is nothing to write home about. The man should even resign; he should not wait to be shown the way out.”