GOVERNOR Rauf Aregbesola of Osun State has urged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to perfect strategies to prevent lapses in the electoral process if the electoral umpire wants to maintain its credibility.
He said the responsibilities of INEC are so critical to the growth of the society that giving excuses for non-performance by the Commission will no longer be acceptable to Nigerians.
Meanwhile, the Chairman, Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), South-East Zone, Rt. Rev. Emmanuel Chukwuma, has bemoaned the country’s fledgling democracy, noting that the alleged control of INEC by incumbency in various states is dangerous for survival of democracy.
The governor, who spoke against the backdrop of the forthcoming Osun and Ekiti states governorship election yesterday, said INEC must wake up to its responsibilities by perfecting its process before the election in order to convince Nigerians about its seriousness.
He said his plan to seek a second term in office is in tandem with the nation’s constitution and that it would afford him the opportunity to consolidate on his administration’s achievements in the past three years.
According to Aregbesola, the register for elections must be sacrosanct such that whoever is registered is not denied the right to exercise his civic right. He advised that election materials be given to those who can ensure their effective distribution with the assurance that they will get to polling units as stipulated.
His words: “For INEC to be seen as credible, it should ensure that
election materials are not given to people who can not manage them, the results as announced at the various centres are not influenced, they must be as they were at the polling units”.
“People must be free during the period of election to carry out their franchise, from the register to the management of the electoral materials, process and procedure of voting and the ultimate declaration of results, there must be such transparency that the most cynical and skeptical Nigerian will be satisfied,” Aregbesola said.
“Once those essentials are met, then INEC will be out of blame. To
guarantee security, the police and other agencies must ensure that
nobody takes undue advantage to manipulate the system or the process.”
The South-East CAN chairman said INEC’s credibility with regard to the conduct of the 2015 election is now in serious doubt because the Commission has allegedly allowed itself to be controlled by incumbents in states where it has so far held elections.
Chukwuma, who is the Anglican Bishop of Enugu Diocese, also declared as unfortunate the level of disenchantment trailing the country, saying that the last 100 years have been without a sense of direction.
The cleric spoke yesterday shortly after a church service held at the Good Sheppard Cathedral, Enugu, to mark his 60th birthday. He called on the country’ s leaders to review their contributions so far and implant ideas that would move the nation forward.
He stated that no nation can progress with the level of disharmony, insecurity, corruption and epileptic supply of power that have become the order of the day, insisting that Nigeria would be better if the amount of energy spent on politics is spent on policies and administration.
The cleric, who thanked God and his followers for the numerous achievements since he became Bishop, assured that he would not be discouraged.
He warned the nation’s leaders and elders to be sensible and distance themselves from corruption, as well as to give the young ones opportunity to serve their father in order to avert a serious revolution.
He condemned the recent bombing in Maduiguri that led to the death of many innocent citizens, warning that Nigeria cannot afford another civil war.