The umbrella body of self-determination groups in the South West region of Nigeria, the Coalition of Oodua Self-Determination Group (COSEG), has warned of dire consequences, if the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Attairu Jega, is removed before the March 28 and April 11 general elections.
The group also commended the Senate of the Federal Republic for stepping down the screening and confirmation of Senator Musiliu Obanikoro as minister.
The COSEG, yesterday in a statement signed by its Chairman, Ifedayo Ogunlana, and Secretary, Rasaq Olokoba, stated that the attempt to remove Jega is part of the grand plot by the Presidency to subvert the will of the people during the next elections.
The group said: “We reject the planned removal of Prof. Attairu Jega through the terminal leave or any other reason whatsoever because it is not only illegal, unlawful, unconstitutional, but also a call to anarchy. For the sake of clarity, the chairmanship of the INEC is a tenured position unlike positions in the civil service. The Chairman of the INEC can only be removed through a resolution of two third members of the Senate”.
The group berated President Goodluck Jonathan for his insistence to see Jega removed from office instead of commending the INEC boss for being neutral and proactive.
The COSEG also praised members of the Senate for not screening Obanikoro for a ministerial post.
“We must salute the progressive senators who vehemently stood against the screening of Obanikoro. What this indicates is that we have senators who can actually defend the rights of their people.
“The fact that Obanikoro, who is fingered in the rigging of the 2014 gubernatorial election in Ekiti, is being considered as a minister by Mr President speaks volume of his value judgement. Well, we are actually not surprised as he maintained that ‘stealing is not corruption’”, the group said.
The COSEG also appealed to well-meaning Nigerians to prevail on President Jonathan not to remove Jega in order not to plunge the country into a political crisis.