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INEC’s autonomy: NLC, AC, others fault Senate’s decision

…call for Iwu’s sack

By Oscarline Onwuemenyi

ABUJA—The Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, the Action Congress, AC, and the Alliance for Credible Elections, ACE, have criticised the Senate’s rejection of political independence for the Independent Electoral Commission, INEC, even as they have called for the sack of the INEC Chairman, Professor Maurice Iwu.

The NLC has further disclosed plans to “mount more than 20,000 Nigerian workers at the gate of the INEC Headquarters in Abuja to demand the sack of the INEC Chairman” during the planned March 31 protest rally.

Want adoption of Uwais’s report

The Congress said it had mobilised workers in and around the Federal Capital Territory, adding that it expects more than 500 workers each from all the 35 affiliates of the NLC to take to the streets to  demand the sack of the INEC boss and the adoption of the Justice Mohammed Uwais panel report on electoral reform.

Speaking on behalf of the group during a briefing yesterday, the Executive Secretary of ACE, Comrade Emmanuel Ezeazu, noted that it was improper for the INEC chairman to lobby to be retained in the position.

The groups further criticised Iwu for what they called his “shameless lobbying to remain in the position, in spite of the criticisms over his conduct on past elections and allegations of corruption leveled at his person and office.”

According to Ezeazu, “The Chairman of INEC is ultimately a judge of the electoral process in the country, and a judge does not lobby to be made a judge as it is not only improper and dirty, but smirks of attempt to continue to manipulate the system for selfish interests.”

He said the country has “come to a stage where if we do not deal with the electoral system which makes possible the election of credible leaders who would be in the position to deliver on the dividends of democracy, progress would forever elude us as a nation.”

He added that, “without a good electoral system, all other things that we are doing as a nation will come to naught, because the leaders that were rigged in by the existing system are not listening to calls for better quality of life for our people, for better schools for our children and well-equipped hospitals for our citizens”.


2011: AC urges Nigerians to join clamour for electoral reforms

LAGOS—The Action Congress, AC, has called on Nigerians to join the push for the reform of the country’s electoral system ahead of the 2011 general elections, saying it is the sole means to ensure the survival of the nation’s democracy.

In a statement in Lagos, yesterday by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party also called on the Presidential Advisory Council, PAC, to prevail on Acting President, Goodluck Jonathan to make electoral reform the major plank of his administration.

It said in the very short time left for the administration, it could leave a worthy legacy for Nigerians by ensuring that the country can organise free, fair, transparent and credible polls.

“We make bold to say that despite the yearnings of our long-suffering people for better infrastructure and other social benefits, there can be no better legacy from any government than erecting a structure that guarantees credible elections,’’ the party said

AC noted, with concern, that apart from a few opposition political parties and some civil society organisations, the clamour for electoral reform has not received the attention it deserves from the populace, who will be the ultimate beneficiary.


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