By Friday Idachaba
Mr Victor Adejoh, chairman, Kogi Non-Governmental Organisations Network (KONGONET) on Wednesday urged President Muhammadu Buhari to use his second tenure to reorganise and unbundle the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
Adejoh told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lokoja that the call was necessary against the backdrop of multi-tasking structure of the commission resulting in periodic logistic lapses at election periods.
He said that the commission, as presently constituted, had too many tasks on hand ranging from voter registration, monitoring of political activities to printing of materials and conducting elections.
The KONGONET chairman said there was need for establishment of other commissions to perform those different tasks in such manner that they would ensure effectiveness and efficiency, leaving INEC to function optimally with fewer tasks.
Adejoh, who congratulated the President on his re-election, urged him to revisit and implement the Justice Mohammed Uwais Report on the reform of INEC with a view to implementing it.
He said the report proffered solutions to many of the challenges confronting the nation’s electoral system.
“We encourage the government to revisit the Uwais Report and see how it can improve on the engagement of INEC and different critical stakeholders to deliver on free and fair election.”
Adejoh said the lapses which culminated in postponement of the Presidential/National Assembly Elections and the Governorship/State Assembly Elections earlier scheduled for Feb. 16, were avoidable if the commission had less tasks.
He called on various state governors to allow level-play ground in the upcoming March 9, Governorship/State Assembly Elections and avoid use of security and state apparatus to intimidate opposition parties and their candidates.
“At the state level, we should see to it that in the coming elections, state governments do not exploit security and state apparatus to intimidate opposition parties and their candidates.
“Largely, we sue for peace in the country and we encourage everyone involved in the electoral process who is agitated to use justice institutions (the courts) and avoid violence that usually characterise post-election crisis.”