Posted by Pamela Eboh, Awka | 13 December 2016 | 1,614 times
Former Governor of Anambra State, Mr. Peter Obi, has called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and all political parties in Nigeria to work towards earning the confidence of the masses by allowing a credible conduct of elections in the country.
Obi made the call while delivering a keynote address at the Law Week event of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Onitsha branch held in the commercial city of Onitsha, saying that once the confidence is achieved, peoples’ faith in the electoral process would increase while they ensure that elected officials fulfill their campaign promises.
He blamed the disagreements in the choice of candidates of political parties on the indiscretion of those who subvert the relevant provisions of the Electoral Act and the party constitution.
According to him, those he described as agents manipulate the process in favour of their preferred aspirants as opposed to the popular choices of majority of the party delegates.
“This explains the high volume of pre-election disputes that precede almost every election in Nigeria.
“It is indeed sad that the culture of internal democracy is not being developed and nurtured within our political parties, which has impacted negatively on the growth and sustenance of democracy in Nigeria.
“We are all aware of the varied and several acts of irregularities which attend most elections conducted by INEC in the recent past,” Obi added.
Earlier in his address, the Chairman of Onitsha NBA, Bar. Ikenna Chibuzor, said the theme of this year’s Law week: The Role of Credible Electoral Process in the Institution of Democracy and Good Governance, was chosen to give room for wide area of discourse on the challenges facing democracy in the country.
“The questions are whether we are enjoying good governance in this democracy, or we are actually under the rule of law, giving the preponderance of corruption in our democracy,” he said.
The Chairman decried the palliatives being presented by both the state and Federal Governments in the country’s moment of recession, arguing that the permanent solution was rooted in Constitution review.
He stressed that to arrest the situation, there is the need to review the 1999 Constitution of Nigeria and revisit the country’s present federal structure which tilts towards unitary system.
Chibuzor observed that the present concentration of the resources of the nation in the hands of the Federal Government will not allow for economic growth and development of the nation.
He also threw his weight behind the current effort by the Federal Government to sanitise and purge the society of its corrupt elements including the judiciary, insisting however, that the rule of law should be followed in the course of the fight generally.
•Photo shows Peter Obi.
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