Why we changed Osun Commissioner – Jega
Chairman of INEC, Prof. Attahiru Jega, has described as difficult and painful but realistic decision to send another Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) to conduct Osun governorship election.
Jega made the observation at a dialogue with news managers titled, “Experience Sharing Dialogue with Media Professionals” in Abuja on Wednesday.
He said the decision was made to minimise, if not totally eliminate, allegation of lack of level playing ground.
“INEC is convinced that our REC, Amb. Rufus Akeju, has done nothing wrong, unfortunately, some people have obtained a High Court injunction to prevent him from conducting the election.
“We have appealed against that judgment but again people are trying to politicise his continue role in the conduct of election in Ekiti.
“The commission has to take the painful decision rather than allowing the allegation to continue to circumscribe the conduct of the election, let get another REC to conduct the election.
“As we are concern, we allegations against him have not been substantiated,” Jega said.
The chairman said it was not the first time the commission would make such decision, it had been done in other states in the past.
Jega, who said Akeju still remains the REC of Osun, added that, the commission had improved on its preparation for the conduct of the 9 August, governorship election.
“We are doing everything possible not only to create a level playing field, but to also improve the perception of people, with regards to achieving a credible election in Osun,” he said.
The chairman said that the commission had been collaborating with security agencies and the National Youth Service Corps and other stakeholders.
He said this was to ensure that the role of these stakeholders in the electoral process added tremendous value to the successful conduct of the election.
“Our assessment is that everything is on course in Osun State to have free, fair and credible election on 9 August. What remains is for the politicians and candidates to come into this election with a positive attitude, commitment to peaceful election by eschewing all forms of violence and ensure credible election.”
Jega said the commission believed that credible election could be conducted in the country with the involvement of all stakeholders.