Nigerians have been urged to encourage the Chairman of Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Attahiru Jega, not to throw in the towel.
The pioneer chairman of Independent Corrupt Practices and other related Offences Commission (ICPC), Justice Mustapha Akanbi (retd.) gave the advice in Ilorin, Kwara State on Tuesday.
According to the eminent jurist, if the INEC chairman resigned at this time, “that will be the beginning of violence”.
The retired President of the Court of Appeal spoke during a special public lecture titled “Towards Peaceful Elections In 2015: The Roles of Stakeholders in Nigeria” organised by the Centre for Peace and Strategic Studies, University of Ilorin.
Akanbi also counselled Nigerians against doing anything that would make predictions about a possible breakup of the country after the 2015 general elections a reality.
The former ICPC chairman reminded them of unfortunate incidents that led to the annulment of the 1993 presidential elections believed to have been won by the late Chief MKO Abiola.
Akanbi, who also decried Monday’s attack on the convoy of the wife of the All Progressives Congress presidential candidate, Mrs Aishat Buhari in Ilorin, said that sad occurrence in a town reputed for peace and harmony “instilled fear in me that we may not have peaceful elections”.
“We must encourage Jega not to resign before the elections. If he resigns, that will be the beginning of violence. Jega that I know is a man of integrity; if you change him at this nick of time that will draw us back.
“We should not do things that led to the cancellation of the 1993 presidential election won by the late MKO Abiola. We should know that Nigeria is greater than all of us, therefore, whatever we do concerning these elections must meet international standard.
“Let’s hold the elections and show the World that we are decent people. We should not allow predictions about possible breakdown of Nigeria after the elections become a reality”, Akanbi posited.
He noted that “the forthcoming elections offer us another opportunity to deepen our democracy and vote. Votes don’t fight and we should make it a cardinal point and an abiding philosophy that we shall always maintain peace and avoid violence”.