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Electoral reforms: Uwais’ report sacrosanct, CNPP tells Senate

…accuses NASS of squandering N1bn

By Chris Ochayi

ABUJA -  Conference of Nigeria Political Parties (CNPP) has scolded Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, over comment credited to him over the report of Justice Mohammed Uwais’ Electoral Reforms, noting the report is very fundamental to sanctity of the ballot box in Nigeria.

The group said in a statement that “the report is sacrosanct in form, origin, spirit and letters; as per any genuine move to construct an electoral reform aimed at bequeathing a legacy of sanctity of the ballot box to Nigeria.”

The statement signed by the group’s National Publicity Secretary, Mr. Osita Okechukwu, derided the Joint Committee on Constitution Review (JCCR), which Senator Ekweremadu is Chairman for allegedly squandering N1 billion while engaging in petty quarrel of chairman and co-chairman, without doing anything towards reviewing the constitution.

He said: “CNPP is also appalled that the JCCR that failed to put its house in order and allowed its functions to be beclouded and diverted over petty quarrel of chairman and co-chairman is today looking for money after squandering N1 billion.

“Consequently, CNPP calls for auditing of the expenditure of the N1 billion as we did not see the justification for such a huge fund, calling on foreign donor agencies to discountenance the JCCR’s request for fund.

“CNPP states that without prejudice to other relevant items that require constitution amendment like restructuring of the federation, states creation etc; that it will be better to embark on electoral amendment as the 1st amendment. We can borrow a leaf from the USA, who in the over two hundred years of democracy had most of the time amends one item after the other,” he said.

The CNPP reminded the JCCR and indeed the National Assembly that the Uwais report was the fulfilment of the pledge made to Nigerians by President Umaru Yar’Adua during his inauguration.

“That it will be a great disservice to our fatherland for the Senate or the National Assembly to forget that the Uwais ERC followed religiously the granite terms of reference submitted by President Yar’Adua, which the outcome was the collation of subsisting national consensus and the people’s voice, that gave birth to the sacrosanct report.

“CNPP warns the National Assembly not fail to use this unique opportunity to restore Nigerian democracy, which is dangerously sliding into one party state dictatorship and Do-or-Die electoral process,” he said.


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