January 27, 2023

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2023: Modify election schedule, group tells INEC


The Convention of Civil Society of Nigeria has charged the Impartial Nationwide Electoral Fee (INEC) to tinker with the 2023 election timetable for governorship elections to return earlier than Presidential election.

Recall that INEC had scheduled the Presidential election for February 25, 2023, whereas governorship and state meeting elections will maintain on March 11, 2023.

Nevertheless, addressing a world press convention in Abuja on Saturday, the Chairman of Convention of Civil Society of Nigeria, Comrade Adams Otakwu, stated to avert potential constitutional and political crises that will come up from inconclusive presidential elections, there was want to change the association.

He defined that the 1999 normal elections which ushered within the present democratic dispensation and the Fourth Republic, commenced with the State gubernatorial polls.

Comrade Otakwu stated, “Political exigencies and enlightened self-interests, then led to the alteration of the established order in the middle of amending the Electoral Act”.

“Ever since, the Presidential and Nationwide Meeting polls have predated the gubernatorial elections, with no tangible advantages to the polity or governance. This association is akin to constructing from the roof fairly than a sound basis for the reason that federating States represent the inspiration of the nation.

“For the avoidance of doubt, the collection of electoral reforms significantly over the previous decade or so have progressively sanitized the electoral processes, with the innovation of expertise to ensure the credibility of the contests in any respect ranges.

“There may be nevertheless the urgent must up the ante by tinkering with the election roster in favour of the guber polls and in so doing, consolidating democracy on the grassroots. The truism that politics is native, necessitates the readjustment of the present elections schedule to precisely mirror the true image of the political tendencies.

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“The 2023 Presidential election is for all intents and functions, essentially the most keenly contested, not solely on this fourth republic however in the whole historical past of our nice nation. As afore-stated, the continuing evolution of free, honest and credible electoral processes and the deployment of data and communication expertise (ICT) have plugged perennial loopholes which have been exploited by the political elites to rig all method of elections from the quick post-independence period until date.

“Within the absence of the age-old rigmarole of poll field snatching, poll field stuffing, over inflation of voters’ registers and falsification of voting figures by violent means, it’s most undoubtedly not going to be enterprise as normal, however enterprise uncommon.

“It’s self-evident that the historic landslides and even moon slide hitherto ascribed many political gladiators arising from the flagrant violations of the electoral processes have, by and enormous, been stymied by the far-reaching and passionately patriotic amendments of the nation’s electoral code.

“In mild of the approaching shut Presidential race, there’s the urgent must avert potential constitutional or political crises that will come up from inconclusive elections at that stage, and the resultant hostile impacts such a risk can have on the conduct of subsequent polls.

“The surest strategy to nip this undesirable consequence within the bud is to set the electoral tempo by the gubernatorial contests come February 2023, versus the present schedule issued by the Impartial Nationwide Electoral Fee, INEC which tees off with the Presidential polls.

“INEC is empowered by regulation to make related laws in pursuance of its mandates and this proposed schedule is nicely inside the ambits of its features and powers encapsulated within the 1999 Structure of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended).

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“The changes shall under no circumstances hinder INEC’s momentum, since it’s a easy case of substituting one election with one other, versus the vexed substitution of candidates arising from pre-election litigations.

“We, due to this fact, name on INEC to do the needful by effecting this related adjustment instantly. We equally enjoin all true democrats to face up and be counted in assist of this people-oriented name to assessment the sequence of the 2023 elections”.