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2011 polls worry NHRC

By Ise-Oluwa Ige

ABUJA — Executive Secretary of the National Human Rights Commission, NHRC, Mr. Roland Ewubare, yesterday warned that the imminent general elections scheduled for 2011 in the country might not produce any results better than past flawed polls if conscious effort is not made to make the electoral umpire independent.

Ewubare sounded the warning yesterday in his office while announcing that his commission would monitor tomorrow’s local councils election in the Federal Capital Territory.

According to him, until the appointment of the Chairman of INEC is done by a body independent of the executive, conduct of credible elections in the country would remain an illusion.

He said the call was necessary because there was no way the chairman of the electoral body appointed by the leader of the ruling party would organise a free and fair election contested by such ruling party.

He said Nigeria could only get the leaders it wanted if the process leading to the appointment of INEC Chairman is done in a way that the INEC boss would feel secured after the appointment.

“We can only have credible election in this country if INEC is truly independent. The appointment of the Chairman of INEC should be done in a way that it would be difficult for anybody to remove him.

“If this is done, the Chairman of the electoral body will have security of tenure. It would also be difficult for him to be biased in the discharge of his duties. The commission should also be financially independent. It should not continue to rely on the executive arm for funds.

“If these things are done, the Chairman will have no fear of being removed from office because he knows that his tenure is secured.

On tomorrow’s  LG election in FCT

Ewubare who spoke on the plans by the commission to monitor tomorrow’s local government election in the Federal Capital Territory said  credible elections at the local government level were critical if broader goal of total electoral reform is to be achieved.

“For us at NHRC, the FCT council election is taken seriously not just because it is the closest form of government to the people of FCT, but because it is about the most important process through which the representatives of the people are elected in the FCT beside the National Assembly.


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