The Federal Government stated that the exit of Atahiru Jega as the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) would take a natural course.
According to Punch, the supervising Minister of Information and Minister of Culture, Tourism and National Orientation, Chief Edem Duke issued the statement, while speaking with reporters at the headquarters of the Ministry of Information in Abuja on Friday, February 27, 2015.
While answering a question on whether the Federal Government planned to send Jaga on terminal leave before the expiration of his tenure in June, Duke assured that the present INEC Chairman would not be sacked as Goodluck Jonathan had pledged. However, he also added that Jega’s exit from the electoral body would follow a natural sequence.
“On the issue of the INEC chairman, I align myself with what the president said that he has no plan to sack the INEC chairman.
“That is not to say that if it is time for the INEC chairman to naturally exit his office, then the natural course of things will not take place.
“It is like saying a civil servant has done 35 years or achieved the age of 60; we now begin to say that he must not retire or he must retire. I think all of that is in the terrain of the presidency and he has spoken,” the minister said.
Further, in his speech, Duke called on people to focus their attention on the upcoming elections and stop threatening the president on the shift in the date of the poll.
“You begin to wonder that parties have a couple of extra weeks in order to reinvigorate their campaigns and try to reach as many voters as possible. Rather than do that, you begin to identify imaginary pockets of unlikely developments and then focus your attention on them and then when you lose election, you begin to complain.”
Yesterday, members of the All Progressives Congress in the Senate alleged that there was a fresh plot by the Federal Government to direct Jega on terminal leave next week. The senators condemned the attempt to remove the INEC Chairman under any guise, saying his removal would be tantamount to “subversion of the system”