If you ask INEC chairman to resign, election may not hold, Shittu tells Oshiomhole

THE Minister of Communications, Barrister Adebayo Shittu on Monday warned that the call for the resignation of the chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Mahmood Yakubu by the National Chairman of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) Adams Oshiomhole is unfair, unacceptable and may jeopardise conduct of this weekend’s election.

Shittu said if the chairman of the umpire resigns, it may affect the conduct of the rescheduled general elections on Saturday.

The Minister who spoke with reporters at his Ibadan residence on the rescheduling of the general elections urged Nigerians to give the INEC chairman a benefit of doubt.

He noted that even if the INEC chairman resigns, the election may need to be postponed for the new incoming chairman to prepare well for fresh elections.

He said, “when Oshiomhole supervised a horrible primaries elections of the party,  who called for his resignation?”

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He said:”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 the resignation of the INEC chairman, he should also be preparing to resign as chairman.  Did anybody ask him to resign for the horrible management of primary elections under his watch?

“This is the first election that professor Yakubu will be conducting, so we need to give him the benefit of doubt and I will advise that all the political parties be vigilant. If you bring in another chairman, when does such person begin to learn the process? Or will you on the bases of that call for another rescheduling of the elections?

“Certainly, it is unacceptable for anyone to ask for the resignation of INEC chairman,” he said.

On the banning of the election campaign before 48 hours to elections, the legal luminary reasoned that such ban cannot be justified by the commission, saying the constitutional provisions which stipulated 48hours before the election should be uphold.

“They must justify the ban on campaign under the law. Campaign must stop 48hours before the elections.  Political parties can make use of the best of the time. In a largely illiterate areas, many of the electorate must have forgotten what they have been taught particularly on how to vote and how to identify the party logo.  I will say any ban extended beyond 48hours will not be justified by anyone.”