Come Saturday 16th November 2013, the good people of Anambra state in Nigeria will go to the polls to exercise their franchise in deciding who will govern the state for the next four years.
In as much as we at (CRGI) are very much apprehensive and hopeful for a free, peaceful and orderly conduct of the elections, the performance of INEC and some stakeholders especially the security agencies with regards to recently conducted elections have been scandalous and a rape on democracy.
We have witnessed repeatedly how INEC under the leadership of Professor Attahiru Jega have behaved true to type like its predecessors in undermining our democracy with conduct of elections that are detrimental to the wellbeing of our society. The most recent was the shameful and democracy undermining conduct of INEC in the Delta State Central Senatorial elections in which its ad hoc staffs protested nonpayment of allowances and refused to go to the polling units until late in the day. Also, INEC like the proverbial leopard which cannot change its spots didn’t get to polling units with sensitive electoral materials in almost the whole Senatorial zone in Delta State Central till about 3pm which was a clear violation of the Electoral Act which stipulates specific time for accreditation and actual voting by the electorate.
This violation of the Electoral Act has become a recurring decimal and a source of concern for genuine patriots who are desirous that Nigeria gets it right by conducting elections worthy of its status a non permanent member of the United Nations, hence all hands must be on deck to admonish INEC that we the people of Nigeria will no longer tolerate the violation of the peoples fundamental right to vote through democratic undermining actions like late arrival of personnel and sensitive materials amongst others to the polling centers on Saturday.
We are hereby using this medium to enjoin INEC to do a test run of arrival time at the polling units by ensuring that its staffs are conversant with their place of operation before election day proper. INEC is also admonished now to do a forensic auditing of its sensitive electoral materials for deployment to the polling units and wards in order to ensure availability of sufficient voting materials on voting day. Also, INEC is implored to make proper transportation arrangement now in order to avoid logistic hiccups which might hinder the conduct of a credible exercise. INEC should as well ensure the prompt payment of the allowances of its personnel in order to prevent a repeat of the Delta Central Senatorial election show of shame this time around.
We as well want to admonish our security agencies to take cognizance of the fact that the conducts of its men and officers during elections have constituted a national embarrassment and violation of the constitution because they have denigrated to the despicable level of being partisan and used to subvert the peoples will. This will not be tolerated in the Anambra state gubernatorial election, thus, we are hereby urging the security agencies that will be deployed to provide security on Election Day to be vigilant and focused on their constitutional duty and refrain from acts that will compromise their official responsibility to the people and constitution of the Federal republic of Nigeria.
We equally want to educate the participating political parties that they too have a societal responsibility role to play in contributing their own quota towards the success of this election by conducting themselves in line with provisions of the Electoral Acts and the constitution. This election must be firmly rooted in the mantra of one man, one vote.
We are hereby enjoining the Anambra electorate that come Saturday 16th November 2013, they have a date with history to determine the direction of their destiny for the next four years by being vigilant and trooping out enmasse to perform their civic duty in voting wisely for the candidate of their choice based on integrity and pedigree rather than sentiments.
As for INEC, this election presents another Golden opportunity to prove that they have turned a new leaf and are prepared to birth to the Nigerian people an electoral system that is free, fair, credible and a source of pride to the rest of the world.
A word is enough for the wise!