‘We have no confidence in Soyebi’

  • Thu, 13 May 2010 19:55:00 -0600 - 234Next
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The Conference of Nigeria Political Parties (CNPP) says it is not impressed by the changes President Goodluck Jonathan has made so far in the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), insisting that there are still men of questionable character in the national electoral body.

The group, in a statement by its national spokesperson, Osita Okechukwu, in Abuja on Thursday, said it has no confidence in the acting chairman of the commission, Solomon Soyebi, who it alleged was chosen by the former chairman, Maurice Iwu.

Commitment in doubt

It noted that Mr. Soyebo’s appointment is an indication that the president’s commitment to electoral reforms is in doubt.

“The idea of appointment of Mr. Soyebi as acting chairman without prejudice to Soyebi’s baggage of questionable integrity as evidenced in the conduct of Abia and re-run in Ekiti states’ elections, recall of Mr. Victor Chukwuani and indeed retaining any of the Commissioners; casts serious doubt on the commitment of His Excellency, Dr Goodluck Jonathan to genuine electoral reform.

“CNPP is outraged that President Goodluck Jonathan is fiddling with rotten eggs in INEC to the extent that he buckled to Professor Maurice Iwu, who for over two weeks flagrantly disobeyed presidential directive to hand over to the most senior National Commissioner, Mr Phillip Umeadi; instead he approved Mr. Solomon Soyebi, Professor Iwu’s anointed,

despite his baggage of gross misconduct. “How can a president prevaricate and be indecisive on such sensitive matter and allow Professor to prevail?

The coalition of opposition parties said it considered Mr. Soyebo’s appointment as part of the plot to rig the 2011 elections, since, according to it, Mr. Iwu is still in charge as the president has provided him soft-landing in an unholy alliance and negotiated exit.

It alleged that the former INEC boss was convinced that Mr. Soyebi, unlike Mr. Umeadi, would not probe the monumental fraud in the heaps of file he left behind.

The CNPP also said it is at a loss as to why Mr. Jonathan, who at every forum promised free, fair and transparent elections next year could “wittingly mandate a thoroughly discredited Professor Iwu and his co-travelers to lay a fake foundation for 2011 election?”

Prosecute the lot!

The group said it has no confidence in Mr. Soyebi’s statement on assumption of duty that he was in the commission to fine-tune certain strategies and then make for continuity in the plan for the general elections.

“The only continuity we can attest of Professor Iwu, Soyebi and co,” the CNPP said, “is sham elections, culture of impunity and rape of democracy; which are ignoble plans.”

It demanded that Mr. Iwu, the INEC Commissioners and Resident Electoral Commissioners should hand over to their various secretaries for gross misconduct and submit themselves to anti-graft agencies for investigation and prosecution.

“CNPP posits that the Augean Stable in INEC must be totally cleansed, as the Third Schedule Section 14{1a} of the 1999 Constitution is very explicit and frowns over the appointment or retention of people of questionable integrity into INEC,” the group said, while also urging the president to submit three bills in the Uwais Report to the National Assembly for adoption.

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