A group of Igbo indigenes living in the United States has supported the appointment of Prof. Maurice Iwu's second term as the chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

Identified as the Pan Ndi-Igbo Foundation USA, Inc. (PNF USA), the group said it strongly recommends Prof Iwu to head the commission for another term because of his enormous credibility.

Indeed, the group said Iwu 'has an impressive dossier and an impeccable character and has restored credibility and respect to INEC regardless of the opinion of the minority who lost elections.

'Rising from just concluded meeting, we affirmed our strong belief in democracy, freedom of speech, and continued progress in Nigeria's democratic process, hence we called on all Nigerians to support the appointment of Professor Maurice Maduakolam Iwu as the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) chairman.'

A statement from the group said: 'The Pan Ndi-Igbo Foundation USA, Inc. (PNF USA), strongly recommend to His Excellency, Acting President Goodluck Jonathan to appoint Professor Maurice Maduakolam Iwu as the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) chairman. PNF USA has enormous confidence in Prof Iwu as the INEC boss.'

The statement signed by Mr. Geoffrey Nzeadibe, national chairman, PNF USA, Inc. said the recent election in Anambra State has reinforced its belief in Iwu, adding that 'democracy in Nigeria is still emerging and every election will not be perfect. Iwu has worked diligently to aid the growth of democracy in Nigeria. Imperatively, this is not the time to change the INEC chairman. The 2011 general elections are around the corner and Nigeria wants stability in its electoral process. Appointing Prof. Iwu will assure the electoral process stability Nigeria needs. Ghana's experience is a good example for all Nigerians.'

The PNF said well-meaning Nigerians would want Prof. Iwu to be appointed as the INEC chairman, adding that replacing him at this critical time would create chaos in Nigeria's fledgling democracy.

'Any replacement at this time will set Nigeria backward. Those politicians sponsoring 'Iwu must go' are looking for someone they can manipulate and control. They are bent on setting Nigeria backward again. Appointment of Iwu will assure that gains made in the past will continue,' the group added.

It said managing Nigeria's electoral process was daunting task that required experienced hands to handle, explaining that, 'we advise the political leaders to stop distorting the progress INEC is making. They would be better served to focus on issues that would benefit the masses instead of fighting INEC. We continue to trust that Prof. Iwu would continue to elevate the independence of INEC to the level that all Nigerians would have total confidence in the commission. The world continues to watch Nigeria and Prof. Iwu knows that he cannot fail Nigeria's democracy. Prof. Iwu was resilient in assuring the transition that got us here today.'