Leaders from the Southern and North Central Nigeria have demanded the removal of the chairman of the Independent National electoral Commission, Prof. Mahmoud Yakubu.
Speaking under the aegis of the Southern and Middle Belt Leaders Forum, the leaders expressed fear that the commission may not deliver free and fair elections in 2019.
The Forum made this position known at a press conference in Abuja on Sunday.
In attendance were elder statesmen Chief Edwin Clark, representing the South-South, Chief Ayo Adebanjo, South-West; Chief Chukwuemeka Ezeife, South-East; Air Commodore Dan Suleiman (retd.), Middle Belt; and Air Commodore Nkanga Idongesit, South-South.
Chairman of the Pan Niger Delta Forum, Idongesit, said, “From 1960 till date, only President Muhammadu Buhari has been audacious to pick only people who are either his relations or of the same ethnic stock with him to lead the electoral body.
“The Balewa Government headed by a Northerner appointed Prof. Eyo Ita Esua from the South, who was in charge of the Federal Electoral Commission from 1960-66; Gen. Olusegun Obasanjo, a Yoruba, set up the Federal Electoral Commission under Michael Ani (1976-1979). When Dr Goodluck Jonathan came in from the South-South, he appointed Prof. Attahiru Jega from the North-West (June 2010-Oct. 2015).”