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Uphold Integrity of Electoral Process, Group Advises INEC

Spokesman of Atiku Abubakar Campaign Organisation, Mr Segun Sowunmi, has advised Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to guard against issues that will make citizens to doubt credibility of electoral process.

INEC electoral materials
INEC electoral materials
Sowunmi told the NAN in Abuja that credible electoral process would not only promote citizens’ trust in INEC, but would also promote peace and legitimacy of elected government.

He said that INEC, more than ever before, must continue to ensure that the electoral process was seen to be free, fair and credible, especially as Nigeria prepared for 2019 general elections.

“One of things that democracy gives every country that practises it is that if you conduct a free, fair and credible election, everybody will see it and applaud you.

“But, if you trample on the will of the people, you conduct an election that is not free, not credible and not transparent, everybody will also see it.

“If you use the power of the state to go against the will of the people you can only get away with it for a time. For every time the will of the people did not count, you move that country nearer a revolution.

“What keeps the people safe in a democratic setting is that they must believe that the legitimacy that their leaders get to rule and lead them was freely given by them.

“When they get the impression that the person leading them has no legitimacy to lead them, you are going to be pushing the country and the people to the wall.’’

Sowunmi said that Nigeria, with over 180 million people with a lot of unemployed youths, could not afford a violent revolution because the will of the people was not allowed to prevail.

“Democracy intends and imagines that it is the responsibility of the independent electoral empire to guard the process and anything that reflects otherwise will be a danger.’’

He advised the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) to ensure that it built on the credible electoral process handed over to it by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
“Remember as citizens of this country, we all watched how the democratic space was strengthened over the years of PDP.

“PDP was not concerned about who won or lost, and until we even lost the presidency and we hand over peacefully.’’

Sowunmi condemned the rising trend of voters’ inducement during elections, and urged Nigerians to make up their minds to vote the right persons.

He said that the electorate must resolve to make their intensions superior to people’s ability to induce them against their will.

“If our intentions to vote a particular candidate or party is stronger than their own ability to induce us, then inducement will stop.

“This mean that we are capable of collecting their money and still vote for our wish,’’ he said.

The spokesman condemned the reported cases of open vote-buying in the July 14 governorship election in Ekiti state, describing it as “big shame, unacceptable and disgusting’’.

“What happened in Ekiti is embarrassing and it should not stand.

“We cannot be a nation shouting to the whole world that we are fighting corruption when from simple little things we are demonstrating that we have become far more corrupt that we have even been.

“No wonder Transparency International said Nigeria has never been as corrupt as it is now,’’ he said.

Sowunmi also expressed concern about the growing debt rate in the country, saying high rate of borrowing did not correspond with development of infrastructure in the country.

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