Professor Attahiru Jega is no longer wanted as the chairman of Nigeria’s Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC. His successor has been named four months ahead of the expiration of his tenure.
Professor Nazim Mimiko is billed to take over from Jega on March 1, according to the plot of those working to get Jega out of the way before the elections rescheduled for March 28 and April 11. The civil service rule, they say, specifies that an appointee like Jega should proceed on three months’ terminal leave.
But Jega’s spokesman Kayode Idowu said on a Channels TV programme on Tuesday that the rule does not apply to appointees like Jega, and that he would stay until the last day.
Jega’s tenure expires on June 30.
Any such rule has never affected Jega’s predecessors in INEC. This time, however, it is common knowledge that the ruling PDP does not feel confident to go into a presidential election organise by a Jega-led INEC. The plot informed the recent pressure brought on Jega to shift the poll from February 14; it is widely viewed as a coup executed with security operatives and the armed forces which claimed they could not guarantee security if the election was conducted on Feb. 14.
A struggle between the government and the opposition APC is sure to follow the plot to get rid of Jega.