Action Alliance (AA) and Action Peoples Party (APP) have expressed their disappointment with the call made by the Labour Party (LP), through Mr. Akin Osuntokun, the Director General of the Obi-Datti Presidential Campaign, for the resignation of Professor Mahmood Yakubu, the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). In response to this, Barrister Kenneth Udeze, the National Chairman of Action Alliance, accused the Labour Party of resorting to mudslinging because they failed to present a compelling case at the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal.
Udeze emphasized that the Labour Party and its public organs are attempting to divert attention from the fact that their candidate, Mr. Peter Obi, did not win the 2023 presidential election and had little chance of doing so. He acknowledged that litigants in various election petition tribunals across the country are utilizing the reforms introduced by INEC to present their cases.
“While assuming, without conceding, that the elections were manipulated, the Labour Party can only prove its case by relying on the innovations introduced and defended by the INEC chairman. It is astonishing that while benefiting from the INEC chairman’s reforms, the party still criticizes and targets him,” Udeze stated.
He further acknowledged that under Mahmood’s leadership, INEC has implemented significant innovations to enhance the electoral process in Nigeria.
Similarly, the Action Peoples Party (APP), in a separate statement, described it as regrettable that INEC has become an easy target for the political class to manipulate or direct their grievances towards. Barrister Uche Nnadi, the Party’s acting National Chairman, urged the Labour Party to await the decision of the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal (PEPT) and avoid needlessly inciting the Nigerian public against an exceptional public servant due to their expected loss in the election.
Nnadi noted, “It is worth noting that the political class remained silent when INEC facilities were targeted and attacked during the election buildup. For instance, INEC facilities in the South East were constantly attacked, resulting in equipment destruction, with minimal or no response from individuals like Mr. Osuntokun.”
“We acknowledge that there were isolated incidents where politicians influenced INEC staff to manipulate the process. However, it is documented that the Commission has shown a commitment to prosecuting those responsible for such acts,” he added.