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INEC: JONATHAN TO DROP ANKA, MAMMAN, OTHERS

By NBF News
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President Goodluck Jonathan gave indication that some of the nominees sent to Senate for screening would soon be dropped, once the Federal Government found evidence against them that they indeed contested elections on the platform of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), as it was alleged by the Action Congress (AC).

The AC had alleged, while reacting to the list of nominees announced by the Federal Government as Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) commissioners and Resident Electoral Commissioners, that some of them were PDP card carrying members.

The party, in a release, had identified that 'Ambassador Z. Anka contested the governorship of Zamfara on the platform of the PDP in 1999; General Mamman is a member of the Board of Trustees of the PDP while Alhaji Yakubu Shehu contested the senatorial elections in 2003 and 2007 on the platform of the PDP in Kaduna, and he is the chairman of PDP stakeholders in Giwa Local Government Area of Kaduna State. Yet all these people are on the President's list of appointments into INEC.''

Speaking yesterday during the 51st PDP National Executive Council meeting at the party's national secretariat, President Jonathan declared that those mentioned as having contested election on the platform of the PDP at one time or the other would be removed from the list before Senate commences screening of the nominees, even as he declared that no law barred a card-carrying member of PDP from working in INEC. Jonathan, however, based his decision to withdraw some of the names identified by the opposition on his assurance to give free, fair and transparent electoral process.

'The constitution does not say that if you are a member of a political party, you should not be in INEC. No, that is very clear. You can be a member of a political party we can decide to make acting national chairman of PDP, the chairman of INEC if we chose to do so if we believe that he can conduct elections free and fair.

'I am not saying that he is going to rig election for PDP. In fact, the law emphasized that to be in INEC you must qualify to contest election in the House of Representatives. For you to contest election into the House of Representatives you must be a member of a political party. So if you follow the law to the letter you can appoint people in political parties to be in INEC.

'Active members of a political parties will feel, wrongly or rightly, that we will be biased. If today I make the acting chairman of PDP as the INEC Chairman, they will say PDP has taken over INEC. For that reason, I promise that anybody that will be in INEC should be somebody that should be above board, people should have confidence in him because perception is one thing and reality is another.

'If they perceive that he will do the wrong thing even if he does the right thing, and somebody fails election they will believe that he was manipulated out .And for that reason those people that are have been linked to have played key roles in political parties , I am withdrawing them,' Jonathan declared.