Published On: Fri, Oct 11th, 2013

Delta Central Senatorial Bye-Election, A Litmus Test For 2015 – Senate Minority Leader

Senate Miniority Leader, Senator George Akuma

LAGOS OCTOBER 11TH (URHOBOTODAY) – Senate Minority Leader, Dr. George Akume, has described the Delta-Central Senatorial bye-election holding Saturday as a measure of the preparedness of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to conduct free, fair and transparent elections, and hence a litmus test for 2015.
He also called on people of the Senatorial District to come out en masse and vote for the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate in the bye-election, Olorogun O’tega Emerhor, describing him as “the right man for the job.”

In a statement issued in Abuja by his Media Assistant, Mrs. Beckie Orpin, Akume said in the light of the massive irregularities that marred the 2011 polls, it was imperative for INEC to get its acts right this time around so as to rekindle confidence in the nation’s electoral system.
The former Benue state governor said the conduct of credible polls was a democratic emergency, particularly as Nigerians and petitioners have come to the painful conclusion that the courts and tribunals cannot be relied upon to redress matters of electoral fraud perpetrated during elections.
He, therefore called on INEC Chairman, Prof. Attahiru Jega, to rise above board, and prove that the “Giant of Africa does not have clay feet when it comes to electoral matters or that Africa’s largest democracy is incapable of meeting the minimum standards of credible elections.”
The statement reads in part: “The much-talked about Transformation Agenda must also transform INEC and the reforms being trumpeted in government circles must reach Attahiru-Jega’s INEC, and evidently so. Let votes count.
“Let neither INEC officials nor security agents become parties in this election. It is not too good that the Giant of Africa is giving electoral support to smaller African countries like Sierra Leone, but cannot herself hold commendable polls. INEC must move from rhetoric to performance.
“INEC must take a cue from smaller countries like Mali, Ghana, Sierra Leone as well as South Africa, and begin to discharge its mandate as an impartial umpire. It is less than wonderful that after every election, INEC engages in self-congratulations while other parties, save the supposed winners, head to court.
“And the Federal Government should also know that the acceptability of an electoral process or the stability of the polity does not lie in the intensity of the official propaganda or in militarization of the polity before and after elections; they depend on the free, fair, transparent and credible conduct of the exercise itself. Today’s exercise offers us that possibility!”
Source: Thewill

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