Traditional Rulers Back INEC Chair, Mahmood, Urge UK To Discard Visa Ban Calls

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…express support for INEC chair’s performance

Traditional rulers under the auspices of Nigerian Traditional Rulers Council, NTRC, Friday, urged the United Kingdom, UK, to discard visa ban calls on the Chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Prof Mahmood Yakubu by some person.

This was contained in a letter addressed to the British High Commissioner, and signed by the some traditional ruler, HRH Oba Adekunle Adeyemi (Adara of Adara, Ogun State), HRM King Alfred Prince will (Amanyab of Bassambiri, Bayelsa State), His Eminence Emir Ahmed Yayale (Charanchi, Katsina State ), HRH Alhaji Muhammad Bubu (Lushi Takololo, Bauchi State), HRH Eze Obinna Opoji (Ama of Amajuoyi Kingdom, Imo State) and HRH Alhaji Audu Eleje (Elejuku of Eluku, Kogi State), where the Council pointed out that the calls by the group it described as faceless are being mischievous to blackmail Yakubu with their unfounded facts and malicious attacks on the INEC boss.

According to the traditional rulers the attacks and calls by the group it called United Nigerians in Diaspora, UND, sponsored by disgruntled politicians, who lost elections in 2023, and also with ploy to create disaffection among Nigerians.

The Letter reads in part: “We, the Nigerian Traditional Rulers Council, write His Excellency to address the malicious attack on Mallam Mahmood Yakubu, the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). It has come to our attention that a certain faceless group named United Nigerians in Diaspora Group sponsored by disgruntled politicians, who lost elections in 2023, have leveled serious allegations against the INEC Chairman. We are deeply concerned about these accusations by this faceless group and feel compelled to set the record straight.

“The allegations made by these politicians are baseless and unfounded. We believe that they are attempting to tarnish the reputation of Mallam Mahmood Yakubu and, by extension, the INEC. We vehemently reject these accusations and stand firm in our support for the INEC Chairman.”

Meanwhile, according to the Council, the Yakubu-led INEC has made significant progress in “conducting free, fair, and credible elections in Nigeria. The electoral process has been streamlined, and voter confidence has been restored. The INEC has implemented innovative technologies, such as the use of biometric voter registration and electronic transmission of results, to ensure transparency and efficiency.

“Furthermore, the claims made by these disgruntled politicians are clearly politically motivated, aiming to undermine the credibility of the INEC and its Chairman. It is no surprise that these allegations have emerged now, following their loss in the 2023 elections. It is an attempt to shift blame for their defeat onto the INEC and distract from their own shortcomings.”

The traditional rulers also unequivocally expressed their support for the INEC chair, “We, the Nigerian Traditional Rulers Council, stand firmly by Mallam Mahmood Yakubu and express our full confidence in his ability to lead the INEC effectively.

“His tenure has been marked by integrity, professionalism, and commitment to democratic ideals. The INEC, under his stewardship, has become a beacon of hope for the Nigerian electoral system.”

However, the Council called on the alleged group UND to stop their unfounded and spurious allegations forthwith against the INE boss, and also respect INEC as an independent institution.

“We urge all United Nigerians in Diaspora (UND), politicians and their supporters, to exercise restraint and respect the independence of the INEC. It is essential for the peaceful coexistence of our nation that we uphold the democratic process and refrain from unfounded accusations and attacks.

Meanwhile, the traditional rulers also appealed to Nigerians to work together to strengthen democracy despite the challenges which other advanced democracies are also experiencing.

“We call upon all Nigerians to respect the rule of law and work together towards a better and stronger democratic Nigeria.

“In conclusion, we wish to inform His Excellency that we reiterate our unwavering support for Prof. Mahmood Yakubu and the INEC. We reject the malicious allegations made by UND and disgruntled politicians and call on all Nigerians to unite behind the INEC in its efforts to strengthen our democratic process. Let us remember that peaceful, free, and fair elections are the bedrock of our nation’s progress and prosperity”, it added.