INEC Must Break Election Impunity Circle In Ekiti, Osun – VOTAS

Former Chairman of the Transition Monitoring Group (TMG) Comrade Mashood Erubami, has urged the Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) to break the circle of election impunity in the country using next Saturday’s governorship election in Ekiti as a litmus test case.

Erubami, who is the President of the Nigeria Voters Assembly (VOTAS), said the outcome of both the Ekiti and the Osun August governorship elections would convince Nigerians and the world that the assurance given by INEC Chairman, Prof. Attahiru Jega that the 2015 general elections would be better than 2011 was not an empty promise.

“The credible conduct the June and August 2014 elections in Ekiti and Osun States respectively would provide the best litmus tests for what to expect in 2015.The quality of any credible election cannot be predicted by INEC alone unless it has perfected the art of making all stakeholders to fulfill their obligations in such election. INEC this time must make parties to follow its guidelines by enlightening their members, candidates and general public on issues pertaining to the coming elections.

“It is amazing that past assurance from INEC did not reflect in the outcome of successive elections after 2011 as minimum standards for free, fair and free from fear elections have not been upheld by INEC to make elections truly credible and legitimate. If actually it is true that INEC has benefited tremendously from the partnership and participation of election stakeholders, why do we still have failed election? The answer is that partnership and participation of stakeholders will not be enough unless the stakeholders fulfill their obligations in accordance with the law,” Erubami said.

While saying that if stakeholders’ partnership will result in achieving a better result in election management, INEC must act as strict monitor and enforcer of the electoral act and that in Ekiti and Osun states, people will not expect to hear from INEC the usual reasons which it adduced in Anambra to justify the discovered unexpected shortcomings in the elections taking place in the two states.

He said: “Whatever the outcomes from the elections, it would impact on INEC’s credibility and if it would assure Nigerians of its ability to conduct the 2015 elections, it must be without blemish.

Nigerians will want to see INEC showing its commitment to improving on its activities from the way it conducts the elections in Ekiti and Osun states.