- Category: Politics
- Published on Tuesday, 18 May 2010 09:41
- Written by Juliana Taiwo/Sun
- Hits: 1816
President Goodluck Jonathan has restated his commitment to the conduct of free and fair elections acceptable to Nigerians and the international community of 2011. He assured that credible elections would be the basis for the emergence of a credible and legitimate government in 2011.
In the same vein, the former Secretary-General of the Commonwealth, Emeka Anyaoku, urged the National Assembly to ensure in the Electoral Act review, that elected representatives and office holders elect are not allowed to change their political parties after election without first resigning and going back to the electorate to seek a fresh mandate on the platform of their new political parties.
Anyaoku also called on President Jonathan to ensure that the next chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the commissioners are people of proven integrity and non partisan.
According to the former commonwealth scribe, the effort would ensure that the entire electoral process, particularly, the compilation and timely display of the voters register, and the logistics for voting are transparently effected.
President Jonathan who was represented by the Minister of Interior, Captain Emmanuel Iheanacho said. “This administration is convinced that the best way to start is to accord priority attention to electoral reforms. This is to ensure that winners in the forthcoming 2011 elections, at all levels of government, can exercise legitimate authority, having been freely elected by the people through honest and transparent process of free and fair elections in which every valid vote counts.
He spoke further: “The entire world is looking forward to seeing how we are going to manage the process in the months ahead. Let me assure you that we shall neither fail our nation nor our admirers all over the world who are counting on us to make a significant difference.”
Jonathan admitted that his administration was facing the challenge of providing critical infrastructure, the most compelling, being epileptic power supply.
“This is important to stimulate economic growth, ensure poverty reduction and employment generation as well as enhance economic competitiveness,” he said.
The third priority concern of the administration, he said, was the issue of the anti-graft campaign which was based on his government’s zero tolerance for corruption. He noted that his government was determined to ensure that “all offenders are appropriately sanctioned within the ambit of the rule of law and observance of due process”.
Anyaoku also kicked against money politics, maintaining that elections should not only be for the super rich.
The former Commonwealth Secretary General decried today’s civil service, noting that, it has lost much of its earlier attribute of competence and efficiency.
In his remark, Head of Service of the Federation Stephen Oronsaye said the aim of the dialogue and engagement on the African Regional Conference was to focus on building trust, and accountability in governance.
“This involves strengthening bonds at three levels: between citizens and political leaders; between political leaders and the public service; and between the public service and the citizens.”