The Buhari Media Organisation (BMO) wants the leadership of the Independent National Electoral Commissioner (INEC) to relieve Professor Okechukwu Ibeano of the duty of coordinating logistics for the Presidential and National Assembly election now slated for February 23 as part of immediate remediation of the embarrassing postponement of the Presidential and National Elections from the Saturday, February 16, 2019 date.
This it said is because of his role in the international shame that led to the postponement of the election from its original date.
BMO said in a statement signed by its Chairman Niyi Akinsiju and Secretary Cassidy Madueke that the National Commissioner in charge of Electoral Operations and Logistics has not shown capacity to continue in that role.
“Nigerians and the international community are all witnesses to the shoddy logistics arrangement for an election that INEC had all of four years to plan for.
“The 2019 election is not Nigeria’s first so there is no basis for the Commission to subject the country to such an embarrassing situation after it had continually maintained that it was ready to do better than that of 2015
“But after getting all the funding it asked for, INEC surprisingly handed over one of the most important jobs in the electoral process to an individual that has barely spent eighteen months in the Commission and who is not known to have any prior working knowledge of the process.
“It is clear that the job of manning election logistics is not one that ought to have been given to a neophyte national commissioner and there is no way that Ibeano could do better than he did on February 16 going forward.
“So there is no way his retention as the head of Electoral Operations and Logistics would be acceptable to Nigerians”
It also noted that the alleged relationship between Ibeano and former INEC chairman Maurice Iwu who is a technical consultant to the opposition Presidential candidate is enough reason for the election management board to disqualify him from holding such a sensitive position.
“PDP leaders have not and cannot deny that the man who left the country a legacy of its worst election in recent history had been playing a major role for them in the run up to the Presidential election and here we have someone he is close to manning a sensitive position at INEC
“Aside from Iwu, there are suggestions that Professor Ibeano who is representing Anambra state in the commission is related to the Vice Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party Peter Obi.
“This is certainly not acceptable to us at BMO and we believe the only way INEC chairman Mahmud Yakubu could extricate himself from allegations of collusion with the opposition is for him to immediately remove Ibeano from the role he handed him after succumbing to PDP’s serial blackmail.
The Pro-Buhari group however commended President Muhammadu Buhari for showing leadership in rallying support among Nigerians for the commission in spite of his disappointment.
BMO is also comfortable with the riot act the President read out to security agencies on electoral fraud.