Press Statement: The Exit of Professor Maurice Iwu

MakeYourVotesCount welcomes the directive by the Acting President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan that the Chairman of the Independent Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Maurice Iwu, should proceed on pre-disengagement leave with immediate effect. We see the removal of Prof. Iwu as a culmination of the efforts of civil society through protests and media campaigns, and a vindication of our position

 that he (Prof. Iwu) had constituted himself as a roadblock to free and fair election in Nigeria. While we believe that Professor Maurice Iwu’s exit will not answer all the questions about credible election in Nigeria, we see his removal as a minimum condition for the transformation of the electoral landscape.

It is an understatement to say that Prof. Iwu was a serious threat to our democracy. He left no one in doubt that he was more committed to serving his personal interest and that of crooked politicians than serving Nigerians.

We believe that the most urgent problem facing Nigeria today is how to ensure free, fair and credible elections. If we are interested in sustaining our democracy, and indeed the survival of our country; if we are truly committed to having our votes determine those who should govern us, the likes of Prof. Iwu should never be allowed to oversee elections in Nigeria ever again.

We would like to use this opportunity to sound a note of warning to whoever will replace Prof. Iwu as the INEC chair that it would no longer be business as usual. We shall tackle the next INEC chair with the same urgency and seriousness we adopted in the case of Prof. Iwu.

We commend the courage of the Acting President in yielding to popular opinion that Prof. Iwu should not be allowed to supervise the 2011 general election.

We reiterate our call for the implementation of the Justice Uwais report on electoral reform. We salute all Nigerians who supported the campaign for the removal of Prof. Iwu and urge them to ensure they register, vote, and defend their votes in the 2011 elections.

Chido Onumah