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Group urges Buhari to bequeath legacy of credible election to Nigeria

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An election observer group, Centre for Transparency Advocacy (CTA) on Friday urged President Muhammadu Buhari to leave a legacy of credible election for the country.

The President had on Wednesday charged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the police to engender a credible electoral process in the country.

The Centre challenged President Buhari to match his directive to INEC and security agents with action and show truly, that his talk would make the difference in future elections, starting with the Edo State governorship election slated for later this year.

CTA said in a statement signed by its Executive Director, Faith Nwadishi, that if the President’s order must be achievable in all its ramifications, the INEC must be allowed to be truly independent and its operational budget must be treated as priority by both the Executive and the National Assembly to enable the Commission prepare for elections and discharge its mandate with less constraint.

It also urged President Buhari to as a matter of urgency, re introduce the Electoral Act amendment bill as an Executive Bill to the National Assembly for urgent passage into law to effect positive changes that would improve the electoral process.

The Centre said: “President Buhari as a statesman should sign the Act into law as soon as it is passed by the National Assembly. This is the key to electoral reforms and achieving credible elections in Nigeria.”

The group said the time has come for President Buhari to take a second look at the Justice Uwais electoral reform Committee report and implement it in the interest of the nation.

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It also implored the judiciary to live up to its responsibilities and rid the nation’s electoral process of rascality and fraud.

CTA added: “The level of desperation by the political class should not be rewarded by the judiciary even when diligent electoral officers were forced under duress to make returns that did not represent the will of the people as witnessed in Imo West and North Senatorial Districts in the 2019 National Assembly election. This kind of behaviour should not be acceptable and the outcome of such elections should not be allowed to stand by the judiciary and beneficiaries of such election malpractice must be punished.

“The just concluded governorship election and Kogi West Senatorial elections in Kogi State left in its trail sad stories of impunity, violence and security breaches leading to deaths and injuries. Centre for Transparency Advocacy was miffed at the inability and or failure of security agencies to intervene or try to stop hoodlums from perpetrating violence especially in the snatching of ballot boxes and disruption of collation process at polling units, as most of the security personnel ran for their lives leaving voters, INEC officials and observers at the mercy of the rampaging mobs.

“Security agencies should be neutral, as well as improve in the area of intelligence and security threat assessment to identify areas that need more attention and special deployments. The Inspector-General of Police should identify and punish unscrupulous police personnel and in fact, other security agencies involved in election infractions should be prosecuted.”

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