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Yar’Adua raises four panels on council polls

Posted by From LUCKY NWANKWERE, Abuja on 2008/01/23 | Views: 237 |

Yar’Adua raises four panels on council polls


President Umaru Yar’Adua yesterday presided over a seven-hour consultative meeting with state governors, party leaders and security chiefs on local government elections which has so far been marred by violence and irregularities.

President Umaru Yar’Adua yesterday presided over a seven-hour consultative meeting with state governors, party leaders and security chiefs on local government elections which has so far been marred by violence and irregularities.

Presidential spokesperson, Mr. Olusegun Adeniyi, told State House correspondents that after the exhaustive deliberations, four committees were constituted under the co-ordination of Vice President Goodluck Jonathan to further look into the council polls.

“The committees are an Inter-Party Committee comprising representatives of the four political parties that attended the meeting; a Security Committee headed by the National Security Adviser; a Legislative Committee headed by the Senate President; and the Governors Forum.

“The Security Committee is to examine the role of security agencies in elections and how they impact on elections. It will also examine why criminal activities like murder and arson usually associated with elections are treated casually as “electoral violence”, and why in most cases, the culprits are never prosecuted”.

He explained that “the recommendations from the committees will form the agenda for the next meeting at which appropriate modalities will be evolved for their implementation”.

According to the presidential spokesman, the meeting boycotted by the Action Congress (AC) acknowledged that the last council polls in some states did not have conformed with the best democratic practices, but resolved that all efforts must be made to ensure that the problems associated with those elections are avoided in the remaining states”.

Yar’Adua, in his opening speech, had welcomed candid opinions from all the stakeholders on solutions to the problems militating against credible elections in Nigeria since independence, adding that Nigeria ’s potentials would not be realized without an enduring political stability anchored on credible elections, peace, security and the rule of law.

He observed that the history of elections in Nigeria right from the 1950’s had been subject of controversies, and that “the responsibility for the failure to get our elections right lies with the political actors through their acts of commission or omission. The consequences to our democratic growth have been catastrophic”.

“No matter the legislation, no matter the efforts we put at electoral reform, no matter the credibility of the electoral umpire, unless we political leaders change our attitude towards election, we will continue to have problems”, he told the participants.

He reminded all that the mismanagement of the electoral process during the First Republic began a chain of events which led to the civil war, pointing out that it was the responsibility of the current leaders of the country to lay the foundation for solid democratic growth in the country.

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Fay(Katy, Texas, US)says...

Actually translates to bravehearted.