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AC, others praise Yar’Adua

Posted by By Semiu Okanlawon, Kayode Ketefe and Olalekan Adetayo on 2007/08/23 | Views: 475 |

AC, others praise Yar’Adua

The Action Congress and some eminent Nigerians on Wednesday commended the choice of members of the Electoral Reform Panel by President Umaru Yar’Adua.

The Action Congress and some eminent Nigerians on Wednesday commended the choice of members of the Electoral Reform Panel by President Umaru Yar’Adua.

But the Conference of Nigerian Political Parties said the panel was a political deceit.

The AC, which made its position known through its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said the panel could solve the nation’s electoral problems if it had a free hand.

The AC said, “If they will be allowed a free hand, if they will not be teleguided by the government, and if their report will not be subjected to any doctoring by the government.

“Given the calibre of the people and their antecedents, we feel it might be the dawn of a new era and, probably for the first time, Nigeria would have an electoral system, where the votes will be counted and the votes will also count.

“Going by what we have now, the votes don’t count and it is the counter of the votes that decides the outcome.”

A former Vice-Chancellor of the Lagos State University, Prof. Jadesola Akande, said, “Their integrity is good. They are people of honour who are equal to the task.

“Uwais for instance, as the chairman has a lot of time on his hands to devote to the electoral panel.

“He (Uwais) will give the deliberations mature touch, he served well as CJN.”

However, the Chairman of the CNPP, Alhaji Balarabe Musa, who spoke on the telephone, said the panel was an afterthought.

He said, “The CNPP today (Wednesday) adopted a position on that. We reject the reform because it is a political deceit and it is diversionary.

“Electoral reform is not the issue. The issue is to reverse the results of the fraudulent April elections.

“How can Yar’Adua, a beneficiary of the fraudulent elections, reform the electoral process?

“He said the electoral reform would come after the sitting of the election tribunals, why is he not waiting?

“The CNPP has rejected the reform and the electoral panel will not be able to carry out the reforms.”

In its reaction, the Independent National Electoral Commission said what the President had done was within his powers.

The commission reacted through the Chief Press Secretary to its chairman, Mr. Andy Ezeani.

Ezeani said, “INEC will be willing to share its experience with the panel.

“Also, we will soon release an official report on the April elections. That may be useful to the panel as it would give an indication of how the commission conducted the elections.”

On its part, the Peoples Democratic Party said the membership of the panel was far reaching.

The Acting National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Mr. Bayo Alao, said, “It is a good development, it is a further testimony that our government is interested in entrenching democracy in Nigeria.

“We don’t pretend that all is well, despite the landslide victory we got at the elections. We are desirous of putting Nigeria on the path of a sustainable democracy.”

Also, the spokesman for the pan-Yoruba socio-political organisation, Afenifere, Mr. Yinka Odumakin, said, “We need sincerity of purpose on the part of the members of the committee. Electoral reform should go hand in hand with national restructuring.”

A former President of the Campaign for Democracy and Chairman, Voters Assembly, Mr. Moshood Erubami, said, “The constitution of the committee shows transparency.”

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Comments (3)

Okfold(Sobe, Edo, Nigeria)says...

I want the meaning of female owan name Ekeke (Edo state)

Toluwalase Samuel Olufemi(Ijebu, Ogun, Nigeria)says...

Authority belongs to God, once He decrees it is final and binding

Ikponmwosa Osamede(Edo, Nigeria)says...

Your meaning of Osamede is wrong. Osamede means God has given me a crown