Prepare To Resign If INEC Chairman Quits, Minister Tells Oshiomhole

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Adams Oshiomhole, the national chairman of the All Progressive Congress (APC) has been urged to prepare for resignation should Mahmood Yakubu, the chairman of Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) step aside.

The goad was handed to Mr Oshiomhole by the Minister of Communications, Adebayo Shittu, who stated this on Monday at his home in Ibadan while addressing newsmen.

Mr Oshiomhole, while reacting to the rescheduling of the general election by the electoral body, called for the resignation of Mr Yakubu.

The call angered Mr Shittu who was deprived of his political ambition of being the gubernatorial candidate of the party in Oyo State on grounds of skipping the mandatory one year service of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC).

With Mr Oshiomhole at the helm of affairs, several discrepancies were reported in the party’s primaries which produced candidates of the party for the forthcoming general elections rescheduled to commence on Saturday.

The minister said the APC chairman, having presided over a questionable party primaries since the inception of the party, has no moral right to demand the resignation of the electoral chief.

During the primaries, Oshiomhole had members of his party accuse him of receiving bribes from the highest bidder in a bid to scheme them out. He was reported to the State Security Service (SSS) who interrogated him while investigating the bribery allegations.

Shittu said even if the INEC chairman leaves office now, the election may need to be postponed for the incoming chairman to prepare for fresh elections that would be credible, free and fair.

“When Oshiomhole supervised that party primaries elections, which can be described as most horrible and corrupt in the history of the party, who called for his resignation?” the minister queried.

“I will not support such call for resignation of the INEC chairman. To err is human. We have not seen any political motivation as to what has happened in INEC.

“If Oshiomhole calls for resignation of the INEC chairman, he should also be preparing to resign as chairman of APC for conducting primaries marred by irregularities, and even accused of corruption in its conduct. Did anybody ask him to resign for the horrible management of primary elections under his watch?

“This is the first election that Professor Yakubu would be conducting, so we need to give him the benefit of doubt and I will advise that all the political parties should be vigilant.

“If you bring in another chairman, when does such 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 resignation of INEC chairman,” he added.