Going by the 2011 general election timetable as presented by the embattled and rudderless Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), in less than 300 days, Nigerian will be in frenzy to go to poll once again to elect their representatives and candidates into various electable offices permissible by the provisions of Nigeria Constitution of 1999.
Picture: Kayode Ajulo (Author)
The question agitating the mind of discerning Nigerians is has everything has been put in place to conduct a sound election that will stand the test of time and that can be said to be credible?
This question become more pronounced and interesting if one consider 2007 general election of which late President Umaru Yar’Adua, who upon inauguration as President of Nigeria did not hesitate to tell the whole world that the election that brought him to office was irregular and not perfect.
The above acknowledgement of the incredibility of our election make the then President, Late Umaru Yar’Adua to matched words with action by setting up a panel of distinguished Nigerian headed by the former Chief Justice of Nigeria to advise the Government toward reforming our electoral process.
The panel lived up to its billing by conducting a nationwide consultation with different groups and presented far reaching recommendations to be passed into law.
However our legislators are still hesitant on what to do with the reforms while the politicians whose only stock in trade is to perpetrate illegalities are praying that it should be business as usual for them to be the beneficiaries of the seemly jaundiced election.
It will be jaundiced as there are lots of land mines that will undermine any effort for free and fair election in
The absence of the legislation to punish electoral law violators is a prerequisite to incredible election as once our politician understand that they can get away with their violation of Electoral law, the longer we will not get out election right.
This therefore necessitates the calling on our Federal and State legislators to ensure the passing of Uwais reforms into law.
One of the recommendations of the report was the setting up of Electoral Offences Commission whose primary assignment would be to try as well as recommend punishment or electoral offences either perpetrated by the politicians or the electoral officials.
Another recommendation is allowing all the 3 (three) organs of government to partake in the appointments of electoral umpires, which is not only novel but takes into consideration our peculiar polity.
As it is, it therefore within the purview of our legislators if they genuinely have the interest of our dear nation at heart as credible election brings about good governance and the elected leaders will only be answerable to their people and not the few fundamentals that rigged them into office.
It is for our legislators to do the right things or allow the country to die or became a pariah nation in the comity of nations as immoral and criminal attitude of those in power over the years have build a monster of corruption, criminals, terrorists, armed robbers, militants that can force the Nigerian government into standstill.
These undesirables can be averted and we translate our Nation to the era of credible election and good governance if and only if our legislators would set aside primordial and selfish interest and pass a new electoral law as well as amend the Constitution using the whole recommendation of Uwais report as template.