A pro-Democracy Non-Governmental Organization-Human Rights Writers Association (HURIWA) has warned that the mechanisms for national law making may be in jeopardy should the outgoing state governors nursing inordinate senatorial ambitions are allowed to manipulate the electoral process and emerge winners in the 2015 National Assembly’s poll.
HURIWA said a nation that yearns for rapid industrialisation and development to meet up with the rest of the developed and developing economies should not have a national assembly of men and women without good name and credibility and especially when many of these governors have pending cases of outright heist of their people’s money while they are in offices as governors for eight years. ”What manner of law will emerge from a bunch of these misfit governors who spent eight years without making meaningful developmental strides with the humongous federal allocations and other internally generated revenues? Do they desire to transit to the national assembly just so they can take their brand of public looting of public assets to national height?”
The Rights group has therefore tasked the national leadership of the registered political parties and the Independent National Electoral Commission [INEC] to be on their guard to ensure that the process leading to the emergence of the flag bearers of the respective political parties for next year’s elections are transparent, free, fair, peaceful and transparent even as the Rights group charged the Independent National Electoral Commission [INEC] to do more to demonstrate to Nigerians that it is ready to conduct a free, fair and open electoral contests next year. ”As things stand right now it is safe to state that INEC is not ready for this arduous national task and this trend portends greater national catastrophe if not quickly remedied administratively or through the National Assembly.
In a media statement authorized jointly by the National Coordinator Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko and the National Media Affairs Director Ms Zainab Yusuf, HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA [HURIWA] stated that the current practice of unbridled emergence of the so called consensus candidates in virtually all the registered political parties has formed the enabling political environment for outgoing state governors serving their second and last statutory tenure in offices to seek actively to manipulate the primary electoral processes of their respective political parties to ensure the surreptitious emergence of themselves, their wives and mistresses and children as candidates for the coming National Assembly election. HURIWA has therefore asked Nigerians to resist these sinister plots to undermine democracy by these governors.
HURIWA stated that a situation whereby political parties shut out some of their members from running for their choice offices in next year’s elections does not augur well for a free, fair, transparent, peaceful and open electoral process and warned that the manipulations going on without any regulatory oversight by the Independent National Electoral Commission [INEC] could precipitate greater national uprisings and political upheavals just as the Rights group has urged the Independent National Electoral Commission, genuine faith based groups, community based organizations and organized civil society community in Nigeria to speak out in defence of free, fair and transparent electoral contest to save Nigeria from further unwarranted anarchy which may result as a logical consequence of the on-going active undermining of the democratic principles of free democratic choice in virtually all the states of the Federation.
The Rights group cited example of Abia State whereby the outgoing governor Theodore Orji is allegedly plotting to manipulate the electoral process to ensure the emergence of himself, his wife and his first Son as candidates of national and state assemblies seats in the coming election even as the Rights group also carpeted the governor of Enugu state for showing unbridled tyranny in the way and manner he is throwing his political weight to ensure that the deputy senate President Senator Ike Ekweremadu does not emerge as the candidate of the ruling party in the National Assembly election just so that he could emerge as the consensus candidate for the same seat after serving for eight years as state governor. HURIWA has therefore warned the governors of Abia and Enugu States not to throw the South East into political turmoil and violence.
On the lack of preparations adequately by the Independent National Electoral Commission [INEC] for a free, fair, transparent and peaceful elections next year, HURIWA cited examples of the inability of the electoral panel to check the excesses of political groups who jumped the electoral gun by embarking on grand scale partisan campaign for their candidates of all political parties even when the extant electoral law does not allow for campaign even before it is time. HURIWA also carpeted INEC for doing nothing to check the abuses of election funding and the rampant cases of underage voters which nearly marred all the previous electoral contests. ”INEC is definitely not ready for next year’s election and just like how the morning shows how the rest of the day would be it is clear that the registration of voters by INEC has been heavily and criminally manipulated with the intention to criminally eliminate certain names of genuine voters from a particular geopolitical entity. This INEC under Attahiru Jega has failed and ,must be replaced with statesmen and women who can conduct free and fair elections next year.”
”How come that INEC will stand by and watch the desecration of the democratic process and does nothing? How can INEC stand by and watch Presidential candidates borrow money from banks for election and does nothing even as others get generous donations to purchase their forms far and above the sealing and this same INEC wants the rest of the World to take it serious?”