Barely hours after Northern elders warned President Goodluck Jonathan not to attempt sacking the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Attahiru Jega, the federal government has again come out to deny any such plan exists.
The denial is also coming on the heels of a similar allegation by the APC Senators who Thursday raised the alarm about a plot to force Jega to go on terminal leave next week. The general elections have been rescheduled for March 28 and April 11. The initial date for the elections were 14 and 28 February before INEC was forced to shift the dates on the excuse of insecurity.
Speaking on the allegations yesterday, the supervising Minister for Information, Edem Duke, who based his defence on the recent assurance made by President Goodluck Jonathan during the last presidential media chat said government was not considering such plan to remove the INEC boss before the general elections.
Duke who is also the minister of Culture and Tourism however told Journalists in Abuja that Jega will leave office in accordance to the laid down service rules.
According to him “the issue of the INEC Chairman, I want to align myself with Mr. President on that. This is not to say that if it is the time for the INEC chairman to ease out of office, the natural civil service law would not be allowed.”
Buttressing his explanation , Duke said that “it is natural for anybody who reaches the terminal date in service to ease out.” He however stressed that all the issues are ” within the terrain of the president and he has spoken.” Duke also pleaded with the media to continue to do those things that will foster peace and national unity; stressing that the media needed to be guided so as not to set in motion things that could endanger the unity of the country.
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