5 Mar 2015

"If President Jonathan sacks [INEC Chairman] Jega, heavens will not fall" — Gov. Fayose

Ekiti State Governor, Mr Ayodele Fayose has described outbursts of the All Progressives Congress (APC) over the possible removal of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Chairman, Professor Attahiru Jega as “mere comedy”, stressing that the President of Nigeria, Goodluck Jonathan, could sack him if he wishes.

The Governor in a statement on Wednesday, said the APC should stop acting as if Nigeria belongs to the party.
Fayose said: “By turning themselves to advocates and defenders of the INEC Chairman, the APC and its agents have shown that they have a deal with Jega to manipulate the elections and that deal will be frustrated if he is asked to leave office.”
He further stated that the removal of Jega and any other appointees of the Federal Government was a prerogative of the President, adding that no one can question the action, provided laid down rules are followed.

He said the position expressed by the House of Representatives was that of the APC members in the House, urging the APC lawmakers to rather “pay attention to the ill-health of their party’s presidential candidate, Major General Mohammadu Buhari (rtd), whose whereabouts is now a mystery”.

Fayose described Jega as partisan, noting that “by his actions and utterances, Jega had already demonstrated his bias in support of the APC.
“For instance, how can Jega explain the 80 per cent distribution of Permanent Voters Card (PVC) in Boko Haram ravaged Borno and Yobe States while less than 40 per cent were distributed in Lagos as at February 7, that the election was postponed?”
He stressed that it was on record that Professor Maurice Iwu was asked to proceed on a terminal leave two months to the end of his tenure, stating that Jega was a beneficiary of Iwu’s removal.
“If Iwu was asked to go on terminal leave before the expiration of his tenure for Jega to assume office, what difference does it make if the same was requested of the present INEC chairman?,” he questioned.

Speaking further, Governor Fayose said, “It is the president that can determine whether or not Jega will go on the mandatory three months terminal leave which should commence on March 8, and if the president decides that the INEC chairman should go on terminal leave, what can the APC loudmouths do?

“They boasted before the postponement of the elections that they would go on street protests, but did they do anything? They made noise when Justice Isa Ayo Salami was removed from office as president of the Court of Appeal, what did their noise amount to?

Therefore, let me say it categorically that the noise being made by the APC and their agents will amount to nothing because if the president removes Jega today, heavens will not fall” Mr. Fayose said.

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