Civil Society Organisations have called for stiffer sanctions for politicians and their cohorts who continue to truncate the nation’s democracy via their criminal acts.
Speaking at an expert group meeting in Abuja, on the title “Inconclusive Elections: The Facts and the Myths”, organised by the Independent Service Delivery Monitoring Group (ISDMG), the discussants said that the continued truncating of the nation’s democracy by politicians was unacceptable and the umpire INEC, should be empowered by law to take decisive actions on electoral offenders.
The Chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof Mahmud Yakubu, who was represented at the forum by the Director, Voter Education, Media and Gender, Mr Oluwole Osaze Uzzi, said that if there were no amendments of the current electoral law, the country will continue to have inconclusive elections as being manipulated by politicians who want to win at all costs.
“For as long as the Law remains as it is, and for as long as our elections remain competitive where every vote counts and every vote is counted successful, candidates will most likely only win marginally,” said Mahmud.
He explained that for this reason, disruptions by way of violence, intimidation and bribery of poll officials and voters, the spectre of inconclusive elections are likely to hang over the process.
The INEC boss noted that the alternative of not declaring such elections inconclusive will amount to a breach of the Constitution, the Electoral Act and the fundamentals of our democratic ethos.
“If the elections were not declared inconclusive by INEC, it will in all probability be declared by the Courts,” he added.
The Executive Director of the ISDMG, Dr Chima Amadi, said the meeting was imperative to interrogate the process of election owing to the declaration of elections by INEC in recent times to be inconclusive.
Amadi said the best way to interrogate the process is to hear from the horse’s mouth and to understand what is happening.
“If the processes of declaring elections inconclusive are something salient for us, what is the driving factor behind this state of inconclusive elections?” he asked.