- PUNCH LINE
Prince Tajudeen Oyedeji, a rights’ advocate, has urged the authority of the Independent National Electoral Commission(INEC) to conduct credible and generally acceptable governorship election slated for July 14th this year in Ekiti State,saying that conduct of credible election was the bedrock of good governance in any democratic society.
Prince Oyedeji also maintained that the electoral umpire and other players should conduct themselves in a manner that would not hinder
the progress of free,fair and transparent election in the State,maintaining that Ekiti and later Osun State guber elections would be the litmus test for the Yakubu Mahmood led-INEC for the 2019 general elections.
According to him,through a Press statement made available to newsmen on Thursday,he disclosed that the call became imperative as all eyes were on Nigeria democracy under the present leader and former Military junta,President Muhammadu Buhari,urging the opposition in the country to be constructive in their criticisms of the present administration.
Oyedeji who is Executive Director,Centre for Good Governance and Rights Advocacy (CENGGRA) called on the political actors in Ekiti State to abide by the rules of the election by playing the game according to the lay down laws and regulations as enshrined in the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria(as amended) and Electoral act in order to have peaceful atmosphere before,during and after the guber election in the State.
His words: “The electoral process is one of the bulwarks of democracy with voters as major stakeholder in the process. This is because, if the people lose confidence in the process, democracy as a system of populace participation in government will become a sham.The aim of an electoral process should be free, fair and devoid of any form of intimidation where the the candidate with highest votes wins.
“However, the voters must know their rights and roles in making the electoral process credible. Knowing rights is not enough without a corresponding support from the governmental agencies that will ensure the preservation and protection of such rights especially during the electoral process.
“Voting is a vital mechanism of election and electoral process, and it is the fundamental civic right of citizens, and this right is granted through the principle of universal adult suffrage as contained in the Article 21 of the United Nations Charter on Human Rights which was also corroborated by the Nigerian constitution.
“It is on the basis of this, that our organization, Centre for Good Governance and Rights Advocacy (CENGGRA), having considered the electoral history in Nigeria and that of the 2014 gubernatorial election in Ekiti State in particular, call on the people of Ekiti State to participate actively in the governorship election in the
State, and also call on the participating political parties to play the game in accordance with the rules and tenents of democracy and respect the will of the people.
“We strongly warn the security apparatus to steer clear of any act that can jeopardize the smooth conduct of the process. The call for the militarization of the State as a revenge for the 2014 act of intimidation perpetrated by the then ruling partly is condemnable, capable of jeopardizing the process and miles backward to the attainment of civilized society.
“It is our candid belief that, a free, fair and credible election lays a foundation for good governance and good governance is achieved when rights of all are respected”.