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2007: Confab bars IBB, Obasanjo, others

Posted by By ANSELM OKOLO, Abuja on 2005/05/25 | Views: 642 |

2007: Confab bars IBB, Obasanjo, others

Any hope of a third term in office by President Olusegun Obasanjo or a return to the Presidency by Generals Ibrahim Babangida and Mohammadu Buhari may have been dashed by the Electoral Reforms Committee of the ongoing National Political Reforms Conference.

Any hope of a third term in office by President Olusegun Obasanjo or a return to the Presidency by Generals Ibrahim Babangida and Mohammadu Buhari may have been dashed by the Electoral Reforms Committee of the ongoing National Political Reforms Conference.

The committee headed by former president of the Senate, Dr. Joseph Wayas wants any one who had been head of state or elected twice into the office of the president excluded from future presidential polls.

This formed part of the highpoints of the report of the committee submitted to the conference yesterday as the conference returned to plenary session to receive the reports of its 19 committees.

The recommendation submitted by Dr. Wayas, if accepted effectively put to rest the speculated third term bid of President Obasanjo and the political ambition of Babangida and Buhari.
Listing some of the grounds under which a person is disqualified from contesting for the office of the president, the committee chairman said a person stands disqualified if he had been elected to the office of president in the immediate past constitutions.

A person also stands disqualified if he had served as president or head of state in two previous governments, whether under the present or previous constitutions. Same recommendations are to apply to the office of state governors.

Local government chairmen are to serve for a maximum of three terms, while councillors are free to contest for as long as they are re-elected, the committee said.
The committee also outlawed decampment from one party to another after elections. Where that happens, the committee said, the person automatically forfeits his seat or office, adding: "there will be no more cross carpeting."

Another milestone recommendation of the committee was the placement of the Inspector General of Police under the control of the chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) during elections.
"Henceforth, the IG, DG SSS, shall take operative instructions on electoral matters from chairman of INEC, while security personnel at polling centres shall take instructions from the electoral officer on duty."

The committee also recommended that henceforth the chairman INEC shall not be less than 50 years of age and not more than 50 years of age while members of the commission shall not be less than 30 years. He is also to be appointed with the involvement of the National Assembly, as against the present practice where he is appointed by the president and commander in chief of the armed forces of the federation. Also, February of every year has been set aside for the presidential election.

The recommendations, Dr. Wayas, said would reform and make the commission autonomous, more responsible and effective in the management of elections in the country.
Membership of the commission, the committee recommended, should be divided among the political parties, government as well as the civil society, media and professional bodies.

If accepted, the government would nominate six members of the commission, three members by the political parties, according to the number of seats they have in the National Assembly, one each by the professional bodies, women organization, labour, youth organization, civil society groups, and the media.
To ensure that funding is not a hindrance to the performance of the Commission, the committee recommended a dedicated fund to be known as the "National Electoral Commission Fund" to be funded directly from the federation account.

Each year, the committee said estimates of the commission should be sent to the National Assembly for vetting and ratification in October of every year.
At the state level, the committee said resident electoral officers should be appointed by the commission and not the government in power.
On voting, the committee recommended that an electronic voting system be provided for the country. According to Wayas, a provider of an electronic voting facility had been invited to demonstrate how the facility works to the conference and Nigerians in general.

Another innovation introduced by the committee included the recommendation that only political parties that win at least five percent of the votes cast in the first election, should be qualified to receive funding from government. Campaign funds expendable by candidates in the country should be twenty naira multiplied by the number of total voters in the election relevant to the office in a particular area.

In its report, the committee on local government wants the number of local governments in a particular state removed as a criterion for the sharing of funds meant for local governments in the country.
Similarly, matters of local government administration and control should be made entirely the burden and concern of state governments.

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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