Governor Olusegun Mimiko of Ondo State and Afenifere, the Pan Yoruba Socio-Political group Tuesday asked President Muhammadu Buhari to reverse the appointment of Mrs Amina Zakari as the acting Chairman of Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
Mimiko, who is the Chairman of PDP Governors’ Forum, said the appointment of Zakari as acting Chairman is not only against the spirit of the 1999 constitution but capable of truncating the spirit of free and fair election as inherited by the President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.
The governor, who was speaking at the South Nigeria People’s Assembly, said the appointment of the INEC boss violated the existing arrangement where the Chairman of INEC would not come from the same zone as that of the President.
According to him, the electoral umpire since inception has not produced a Chairman that came from the same geo-political zone with the President saying that since Zakari came from the same zone with the President would rob future elections in the country of its credibility.
The Afenifere spokesperson, Mr Yinka Odumakin, who spoke on behalf of the group after the monthly meeting of the group at the residence of Pa Reuben Fasoranti, also echoed the governor saying the All Progressives Congress (APC)-led Federal government should be wary of causing tension over the appointment
The Afenifere said in their communiqué said: “The meeting observed that the controversy generated over the maintaining the INEC Chairman is unnecessary. We urged the President to set the necessary machinery in motion toward appointing an acceptable INEC Chairman.”
Speaking further Odumakin said: “The appointment of acting INEC Chairman that is known to be controversial which is the least that quality of an impartial umpire like INEC. Mr President should remember that Kogi, Edo, Bayelsa, Ekiti and Ondo governorship elections are coming around the corner as there is no enough time for anybody supervising the election to prepare.
“The constitution is clear that the role of the President is to nominate the INEC Chairman in consultation of the Council of State and forward the name to the Senate for clearance. The constitution does not envisage the condition while the President would either go to the INEC to either remove appoint somebody in acting capacity who has not been cleared by the senate.
“He should ensure that he looked for a credible Nigerian who he will nominate for the Council of State as the chairman of INEC.”
On the delay in the appointment of ministers, Odumakin said There is no provision in the constitution to run the country as a sole administrator inclusiveness and consultation are necessary and vital ingredients of our democratic order.