Communication Minister, Adebayo Shittu, has lambasted the national chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Adams Oshiomhole, for calling on the chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Mahmood Yakubu, to resign.
The minister accused Oshiomhole of superintending the “worst party primaries in recent times,” arguing that if Yakubu should resign Oshiomhole should also prepare to resign as the APC national chairman.
Oshiomhole has accused INEC and some of its officials of working for the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and demanded that the INEC chairman resigns his position.
Oshiomhole spoke at APC national caucus meeting in Abuja on Monday, where the party leaders deliberated on INEC’s apparent embarrassing postponement of general elections from February 16, and March 2, to February 23 and March 9 respectively.
But speaking with reporters on Oshiomhole’s position, Shittu faulted the former Edo State governor.
He said, “I will not support such a call for the resignation of the INEC chairman. To err is human. We have not seen any political motivation as to what happened at INEC. If Oshiomhole calls for the resignation of the INEC chairman, he should also be preparing to resign as the chairman of our party.
“Did anybody ask him to resign for the horrible management of the primary elections under his watch?
“These are the first elections that Yakubu will be conducting, so we need to give him the benefit of the doubt and I will advise that all the political parties should be vigilant. If you bring in another chairman, when does such a person begin to learn the process? Or will you on the basis of that call for another rescheduling of the elections?
“Certainly, it is unacceptable for anyone to ask for the resignation of the INEC chairman.”
He also argued that INEC ban on electioneering campaign could not be justified because the constitutional provisions stipulated 24 hours before the elections should be upheld.
“In largely illiterate areas many of the electorate must have forgotten what they had been taught, particularly how to vote and how to identify party logos. I will say any ban extended beyond 24 hours will not be justified by anyone,” he said.