Jonathan Laughs Off Jega Sack Rumour

POLITICS: President Goodluck Jonathan has described as “stupid”, insinuations that he intends to sack Attahiru Jega, chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.
Speaking on Wednesday night at his first presidential media chat in nine months, Jonathan said he appointed Jega as INEC’s helmsman and he was certain that the professor of political science and his 12 national commissioners would do a good job with the 2015 elections.
“I appointed the INEC chairman and all the resident electoral commissioners but I also have the constitutional powers to remove them but will not do so. I have not told anyone that I am going to remove Jega,” he said.
“Let me reassure Nigerians that elections will be conducted in this country and a government will be inaugurated on 29 May this year. Let them not been perturbed by stories that are not real. “Nigerians should not be misled by the rumours that Mr. President wants to send INEC chairman on three months terminal leave and bring in someone that will manipulate the election. These are stupid things that people read. Those stories belong to the garbage world.
“People just go to the computer to send rubbish to people. The stories people read, less than 20 percent of it, particularly on the social media, that one can really say is credible. Even if there is some credibility, it is over-painted. The colours they give distorts the story and when it is distorted, the information that the story communicates is always wrong.”
He expressed concerns on the implication of the postponement of the election but maintained that it was in the interest of the country.
“It is quite regrettable that INEC had to reschedule the election,” he said. “For us who are politicians, it is more painful because it means more tensions, more sleepless nights and meetings but beyond that it is better for us to oragnise elections in a way that Nigerians would believe is credible”. Jonathan added that if the election does not end in his favour, he would not do anything to undermine the interest of the country.
“INEC is an independent body but if INEC does not conduct the elections well, it is on my head”, he said. “If the elections are conducted and I lose of course, we will inaugurate a new government”.


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