- Category: Society
- Published on Monday, 30 August 2010 06:05
- Written by Daily Sun
- Hits: 1813
A group of Christian professionals described the N87 billion recently released to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for the conduct of the 2011 general elections as being too much and a reflection of Nigeria’s culture of profligacy in spending public funds.
Presenting the report of the group’s subcommittee on electoral process during its 35th national conference, Prof. Funsho Sonaiya, who chaired the sub-committee said compared with what was spent on elections in other countries in similar situation as Nigeria, the amount just released to the electoral body for next year’s election was too much.
Although she said the group, Nigeria Christian Graduate Fellowship (NCGF), was pleased with the appointment of Professor Attahiru Jega as the electoral umpire, it was worried that with the amount, Nigeria’s spending per voter would be higher than that spent by other nations on a single voter in an election, particularly those in similar circumstances as the country.
Stressing the need for fiscal discipline and responsibility, the professor of French Language noted that if Nigeria wasted less of its resources, it would be able to address other developmental challenges begging for attention, just as the group also decried the jumbo pay to elected public officials.
To make government’s stated commitment to free and fair elections next year work, NCGF implored INEC to insist on internal democracy in the political parties, pointing out that credible conduct of elections must start in the political parties through their commitment to internal democracy. Sonaiya charged INEC to work closely with security agencies to guard the ballots of voters to ensure that their electoral choices counted in 2011. She regretted that security agencies had been part of the problems in previous elections, adding that independence of INEC “must be seen in practice.”
NCGF also lamented the worsening security and power situations in the country and made a case for improved funding of the sectors as a way out of the crises. Lamenting the state of pervading insecurity, especially in the South-East and South-South zones, the group said sophisticated arms and weapons had found their way into the hands of hoodlums who we unleashing terror on the rest of the people.
Dr. Sam Etinan, who presented the report of the security sub-committee , wondered at how such arms escaped the watchful eyes of Customs, Navy, Police and other law enforcement agencies undetected. “The nation appears to be witnessing the highest rate of armed robbery in its history,” Etinan said. Tracing the development to political thuggery, he observed that thugs, who were armed by politicians in previous elections, were not disarmed at the end of the elections and had been left on the loose, wreaking havoc on the society.