By Samuel Ohwovoriole
Comrade, Bishop Amakiri., National Chairman, Young Progressive Party, (YPP) has advised that the powers of the
Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to conduct elections and declare winners should not be taken away by the courts and that it is not healthy for our democracy. He gave the advice in a chat with Samuel Ohwovoriole recently in Abuja.
Comrade, Amakiri., stated that Nigeria must give the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) it powers to conduct, monitor and announce winners and that those powers should not be taken from INEC and given to the courts.
“We must give INEC their powers if they are to regulate political parties, conduct elections and announce winners of elections. I think we should be able to give INEC those powers. As we speak today that power is being stripped from INEC and is given to the courts because courts now pronounces winners of an election even when INEC must have declared a winner. So where is the power of INEC here? It is a pertinent question that is begging for an answer.”
In addition, he noted that though the courts are overwhelmed and that they should not forget that they (courts) are the last hope of common man and humanity.
“I think this has to do with issue of due diligence; what I am trying to say is that even the courts themselves needs to up their game at the moment because it is a trial time in our Nigerian democratic or political reign and I think that the judiciary is saddled with the responsibility of being the last hope of the common man and what they must do at all times is to actually give justice or temper justice to all.”
He said the Imo case is still fresh in the minds of Nigerians and that it does not matter if you belong to either the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP or not but that the outcome did set a bad precedent whereby over voting is allowed in an election by the apex court of the land.
“Everybody could hear the outcry, everybody is complaining about the Imo gubernatorial elections even though I am not a PDP or APC member, but we are talking about Nigeria at this point. And there are some kinds of precedents that are not healthy for our politics or democracy; this kind of precedent indeed is not healthy.
still on the the Imo Governorship election verdict by the Supreme court, he said, “it (the apex court) is saying that going forward that people can just go into election and even when over-voting is recorded you cannot challenge over voting anymore… that is the precedent that the Supreme court has set for Nigerians and it is very unhealthy for our democracy. I think that we must find a way to provoke a conversation where we would seat and fine tune going forward on how we want our electioneering and that is why the electoral reform is very key; it is important that we look into that.”
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