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Date Published: 05/21/10

21 st May 2010.

Press Release.

Lagos AC says No to Dora Akunyili, Demands Quick Action on 2011 Election.


The Lagos State chapter of the Action Congress has come out strongly against the suggestion of appointing the present Minister of Information, Dora Akunyili as the new INEC Chairman. The party views this suggestion as not only ridiculous but out rightly promoted to ensure that Nigerians never get to enjoy a free and fair election in 2011 as is being promised now by the President.

In a release in Lagos, signed by the Publicity Secretary of the AC, Joe Igbokwe, Lagos AC says it is pleasantly surprised that some people can suggest the appointment of Prof. Akunyili, who, apart from being a ranking member of the PDP was the Director General of the Yar’Adua/Jonathan Campaign Committee in the last farcical election. It insists that only a credible Nigerian, with a rich knowledge of the circumstances that brought us to the present and who has made well known contribution to the advancement of democracy and free speech in Nigeria should be appointed the INEC chairman.

“We are yet to see the rationale behind the campaign for the appointment of Prof. Akunyili as the new INEC chairman when we had hardly outlived the disaster a partisan INEC chairman did to the electoral process. Akunyili is a member of the PDP and has not hidden her membership. We are yet to be informed that she has denounced her membership. Again, she played a highly visible role in the campaign effort of late President Yar’Adua and the current president, Goodluck Jonathan as the Director General of the Yar’Adua/Jonathan campaign in the 2007 election. We view appointing him as INEC chairman as being similar to appointing Jose Murinho as the referee of the Champions League final between Inter Milan and Bayern Munich. We still wonder what reasoning informed that suggestion in the first place.

“We acknowledge Prof. Akunyili’s great works at NAFDAC but we believe that heading INEC at a time a clear show of non partisan ship is needed is another ball game together. We do not see Prof Akunyili as competent to play this critical role at this time of the nation’s history, which is why we are totally opposed to her appointment.

“On the other hand, we support the suggestion that Mr. Olisa Agbakoba is being considered for that very sensitive position. Apart from Agbakoba’s well known credentials as a dogged human rights crusader, we believe he understands the imperatives of the job at hand. Not being a member of any known political party, we believe Agbakoba fulfils the requirement of an unbiased referee that can deliver crucial electoral results without any feeling of debt to his political party.

“All said, Lagos AC is sad that few months to the crucial elections, there is noticeable tardiness in adopting the much anticipated reforms and making key appointments of the hands that will deliver on this crucial task. We therefore demand a quick and urgent adoption of the Mohammed Uwais Electoral Reform Panel Report as well as immediate constitution of the new INEC so that they will meet the target of Nigerians for a free, fair and credible election in 2011.”

Joe Igbokwe.

Publicity Secretary,

Lagos AC.

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