Kwara state governor, Abdulfatah Ahmed, and his Osun state counterpart, Rauf Aregbasola, have described the alleged plot to remove the chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof Attahiru Jega, as dangerous.
The governors expressed their concern while speaking with The Punch's correspondent on March 1, 2015.
According to Aregbesola, the plot reflects the desperation of the Peoples Democratic Party-led federal government.
“It is obvious that they (PDP) are desperate. A desperate person is a dangerous person. This country is bigger than anybody.
“They have postponed elections. They are planning an interim government, they are engaging in all manners of scheming. They are showing acute desperation. With all these undemocratic and uncivil acts, they are leading Nigeria to the path of turmoil.
“The whole world must be told that they must be held responsible for whatever happens to Nigeria. Why can’t they allow the ordered election timetable to go on as planned and, through that, allow democracy to grow in our land?”
Kwara state governor also called on Goodluck Jonathan to consider the negative effect the possible removal of Jega would have on the upcoming general elections. According to him, the move to remove Jega before the elections could give the impression of attempts to undermine the transparency and credibility of the polls.
Ahmed also called for the INEC chairman to be allowed to conduct the elections whose process he had already started.
“The sensitivity of the role of Jega in today’s electoral process is so crucial that we cannot handle his exit with levity, especially as the current electoral process is drawing a lot of attention both locally and internationally.
“So, it is very important that we ensure that the right things are done to ensure that this electoral process is allowed to follow its course as encapsulated in the new timetable, both the umpire and the processes are allowed to go on accordingly.
“We are aware that some stakeholders are not comfortable with Jega’s preparedness for the election. We have seen how attempts have been made in picking holes with the current arrangement which has been adjudged to be better than the preparation we had in 2011."
Finishing his statement, the governor warned that Jega’s replacing would be like changing the rules in the middle of the game. Moreover, it would negatively affect people’s perception of the seriousness in ensuring a proper electoral process and good governance in the country.
Meanwile, the federal government have recently shortlisted 4 possible candidates to replace the INEC boss. It was learnt from inside sources that Jega might be asked to hand over to one of the commissioners in the INEC and also proceed on a three-month terminal leave.
But speaking at a press conference on February 27, 2015 , the supervising minister of information, Edem Duke, said that the president had no plans to sack Jega and added that his exit from the electoral body would follow a natural sequence.