INEC: PRESIDENT'S WARNING NOT ENOUGH â€“ FALAE, BALARABE MUSA, YERIMA
President Goodluck Jonathan has apparently stirred the hornet's nest with his promise to withdraw anyone alleged to be a member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) from the reconstituted Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
Sunday Sun learnt that despite the seemingly good intention of the former Bayelsa governor to redress the flaws in the recent appointments in the electoral body, many prominent Nigerians received the development with a pinch of salt.
In his reaction, former Secretary to Government of the Federation (SGF), Chief Olu Falae, saluted the courage of Jonathan in deciding to drop INEC commissioners perceived to be PDP members.
He said that Nigeria needs credible election to relaunch itself to international reckoning in terms of democratic development. 'Let him do a thorough check. Anybody identifiable as a card-carrying member of a party, including my party, should be dropped. Those who nominated members of the PDP to be in INEC are enemies of Nigeria,' he said.
For former governor of old Kaduna State, Alhaji Balarabe Musa, Nigerians should not be carried away by Jonathan's promise to drop any PDP member appointed into INEC.
He said it would be a welcome development if he fulfils his promise, but cautioned that mere dropping some identifiable PDP members would not be the answer to the nation's myriad of electoral problems. The vocal politician also averred that Jonathan had already done so many negative things, including accommodating those found to be corrupt in his administration.
On his part, chairman of the Citizens Popular Party (CPP), Chief Maxi Okwu, commended Jonathan's decision.
'We non-PDP members from Enugu State are particularly delighted with the dropping of Emeka Nwatarali, a proposed Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC). If he had been confirmed, he would have prepared a PDP electoral structure on ground. Any REC posted to Enugu on the eve of elections cannot change the set piece,' he added.
President of the Arewa Youth Forum (AYF), Alhaji Shettima Yerima, however, berated Jonathan over the INEC appointments, saying he was merely playing politics with the electoral body.
He said that Nigerians would not be deceived by Jonathan's actions, stressing that he would not be able to conduct credible election because of his ambition in the 2011 presidential race. The youth leader said that only a holistic adoption of the Justice Mohammed Uwais committee report by the National Assembly would ensure credible election next year.
He noted that under normal circumstances, a card-carrying member of a particular party should not be appointed into the nation's electoral body.
'It is not enough for President Jonathan to say he wants to withdraw those found to be members of the PDP. He should go further to ensure that the Uwais report is adopted if he is serious about ensuring credible election. 'The truth is that with his ambition in the 2011 presidential election, he would not be able to conduct credible election,' the youth leader stated.
He however commended Jonathan for his promise to drop those identified as PDP members regretting that the anomaly of appointing party members into INEC started under the administration of former President Olusegun Obasanjo.