The imbroglio between the Ekiti state governor, Ayodele Fayose, and the presidency which had apparently died down for a while seems to have arisen again as the Peoples Democratic Party governor has fired a short at the President Muhammadu Buhari.
In reaction to the appointment of the new chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Mahmood Yakubu, the governor stated that President Buhari has proven that he really short-changed the Yoruba leaders who helped him become president by not exonerating himself as sectional president.
According to Vanguard, the Ekiti state governor described the appointment of yet another northerner to chair the electoral commission as a vindication of his position.
Fayose insisted that the president is a sectional leader who sees himself mainly as leader of the Hausa/Fulani and not that of the entire people of Nigeria.
The governor said that since the Southern geo-political zones especially the South Western part of the country have not yet produced chairman of the nation’s electoral umpire that he expected the new commission’s chairman to have been chosen from one of the three zones.
He stated firmly that Nigeria has entered a one chance bus and it remains to be seen who will save the country from its sectional president.
The controversial governor said this in a statement signed by his special assistant on public communications and new media, Lere Olayinka.
The governor asked: “Shouldn’t he have considered someone from South-East, South-South or South-West as Chairman of the Electoral Commission now that we have a President from the North?
“For reasons of perception, equity and fairness, don’t we have credible people from the Southern part of Nigeria that can conduct credible elections as INEC Chairman? Or do we assume that the 2019 elections have already been won and lost by the appointment of this Hausa/Fulani professor as INEC chairman? Or isn’t it regrettable that even in 2015, it is only in PDP controlled States that elections are being upturned?”
He said he was worried that the three arms of government namely: the executive, legislative and judiciary were being headed by northerners leaving the three zones in the Southern part of the country with nothing.
Speaking further, Governor Fayose said that when Chief Olusegun Obasanjo was the president, he never appointed a Yoruba man as INEC chairman.
He added that when the immediate past president, Goodluck Jonathan, was in power too that he did not appoint an Ijaw man as INEC chairman.
He further said: “Former President Shehu Shagari too did not appoint a Hausa man like himself as chairman of the Federal Electoral Commission (FEDECO). Rather, he appointed late Justice Victor Ovie Whisky.
“During the Ibrahim Babangida and Sani Abacha regimes, no Hausa/Fulani man was appointed as chairman of the National Electoral Commission of Nigeria and General Abdulsalami Abubakar who established the current INEC did not also appoint his fellow Hausa man as chairman.
“How then can we have a president from the North and at the same time have INEC chairman from the Hausa/Fulani Northern Nigeria?
“Obviously, what is being witnessed is more like a situation where it appears the president is more interested in having someone malleable to him than serving the interest of Nigeria and its people.”
The president had On Thursday, October 22, sent a letter to the Senate seeking the confirmation of the appointment of the new INEC chairman and its commissioners.
Yakubu is a professor of political history and international studies, and was the executive secretary of the tertiary education trust fund.