INEC Has Been Programmed To Fail

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INEC Has Been Programmed To Fail

 

By

 

Jide Ayobolu

jideayobolu@yahoo.co.uk

 

 

 

 

November 16, 2006

 

There some fundamental issues that needs to be raised about INEC, the first point has to do with the fact that, presently INEC is not democratized, all the key appointments into INEC are done by the president, it is the president that appoints the chairman, the board, the resident commissioners, the state commissioners as well as approves the funds that the commission uses to carry out its functions, in this kind of situation, it is expressly clear that INEC cannot be independent, it will always dance to the dictates of the president because, he who pays the piper dictates the tunes. This makes INEC a partial arbiter in the whole electoral process, therefore INEC cannot create a level playing ground for all comers in the political arena, and this should not be the case.

 

To this end, INEC is in a very precarious situation, it is at the mercy of the president, and if INEC tries to be independent by been very straight forward, it will be cut to size by the president. So, both the senate and house committees on INEC should look into the laws setting up INEC and make some fundamental changes for the survival of democracy in Nigeria. If INEC must conduct credible elections and must be relevant to democracy, then the organization itself must be thoroughly democratized and get things done democratically.

 

It would also be recalled that the conduct of INEC during the 1999 and 2003 general elections are nothing to write home about, the elections were not only wantonly rigged, there were massively falsified, that was why several petitions  of some political gladiators are still pending and the outcome of the yet to be resolved. Presently, it is incontrovertible that INEC lacks the independence and resources to hold free and fair elections. It is also true as Atiku rightly observed that having 40 political parties is unwieldy for our young democracy and INEC does not have the capacity to manage such a multiplicity of parties. The fact that INEC has conducted two elections in 1999 and 2003 does not shield it from public scrutiny with regards to it s preparedness for the 2007 elections.

 

Eight months to the commencement of the 2007 general elections, there are no signs that INEC is preparing for the election at all, for one, money has not been released to the body, it has not started  to revised voters register, as the registration exercise has been marked by serious hiccups and grossly inadequate machines, it has not commenced the process of employing electoral officers that will work all over the country, it has not begin the process of training them to meet the challenges and demands of election, particularly for in the riverine and desert areas, there are no electoral education to enlighten the people about the their civil responsibilities, we do not know the order of elections, no provisions to get logistics in place. And, this is a worrying and disturbing development, just some few months to a very germane national issue as 2007 elections. If an organization is preparing for a major national event, its activity will be noticed by all and sundry. Unfortunately, this is not the case with INEC, if indeed there are preparations, why is it shielded from the people? Why is INEC activities shrouded in secrecy? Why are they not allowing people to know the schedule of activities? It is the combination of all of these uncertainties that have fueled the speculation and that INEC has been programmed to fail.

 

 

At this juncture, it is important to point that, right from the onset the president, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo has demonstrated beyond all reasonable doubt that he is not ready to hand over power. That is the whole polemics behind the third term brouhaha; it was an attempt to elongate the tenure of office of the president without recourse to the due process, the constitution, wish of the people and common sense. A lot of resources were spent until it was finally defeated in the National Assembly. After this, one would have thought that the whole issue will be forgotten and a new democratic beginning charted to truly move the country forward. However, there have been several talks about plan B, C, D, and E all meant to ensure the sit tight agenda of the present administration, and particular mention has been made of the introduction of the interim national government, to this end efforts are been made to create a situation of general insecurity in the country as well as starve INEC of requisite funds thereby rendering it functionary impotent, hence, election will not be able to take place next year.

 

Not only this, EFCC is been used to harass those that truly want to vie for the highest office in the land. And, those that have signified interest are not doing so on any platform. Up till now there no campaigns, there no electoral issues, the political atmosphere is prosaic. The political landscape is uncertain. The political firmament is bleak and gloomy. This because, the fear of Obasanjo is the beginning of wisdom in Nigeria today. There nothing to show that INEC is preparing for any election next year.

 

There are other plans to use the law courts and the instrumentality of the constitution to engender a tenure elongation and arbitrary disqualification plan. One of the plan is to go to court and argue that when the 1999 constitution took place there was no constitution in place, therefore, there was no election in the proper sense of the word, that the first election in the present political dispensation was the 2003 election, hence the president will be eligible to contest next years election. It has also been said that the result of the just concluded census would be released much later in the year and it would be horrendously manipulated in such a way to precipitate a major political upheaval in the country that will make the 2007 general elections undoable.

 

It is very clear that a lot of booby traps, contraptions and political landmines are deliberately mounted on the way to cause political confusion in a desperate bid to foist their ulterior agenda on the country.

 

Many other plans are in the pipeline, and it is hoped that one of them will sail through and help the present occupiers of political office to hang on to power beyond what they are legally and constitutionally entitled to. As a result of this type of thinking the INEC is been denied funds to operate and commence early preparation for the 2007 elections, hence, INEC has been programmed to fail in its assignments. So, the real issue is who will save us from our baba who art in Aso Rock?  But, those at the helm of affairs today in the country should be reminded that political power is transient and ephemeral. Of course, those that God wants to destroy he first makes deaf.

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