By Kolade Larewaju
The Coalition of Democrats for Electoral Reform, Coder, has lauded the Acting President, Dr.Goodluck Jonathan for directing Prof. Maurice Iwu, the earstwhile National Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to proceed immediately on terminal leave.
In other climes, Prof. Iwu should have had the decency to either resigned or be sacked long time ago, if the popular demand for his exit was regarded by government as representing its responsiveness to the peoples’ wish.
However, Coder wishes to restate that a genuine electoral reform that will lead to a free, fairÂ and credible election can only be accomplished by enacting into law the recommendations of Justice Uwais Electoral Reform Panel which were as follows:
That the National Judicial Council, NJC, should sort out the three names out of applications from the various offices, recommend the three to the Council of State which will then forward one of them to the Senate for confirmation.
That the composition of the new INEC should consist of one nominee each from the Nigerian Labour Organisations, Nigerian Bar Association; Women Organisations; Media and Civil Society Organisations working in the area of elections.
This is to provide a credible safeguard against the current situation whereby only the party in government appoints its friends into the commission.
That no one should be sworn into office until all judicial interventionsÂ in the contest have been completely disposed off so as so prevent a reoccurence of the situation Nigerians have witnessed in Ekiti,Ondo,Edo,Osun,Sokoto states.
That a totally new and digitalized voters register which carries the biometric features of both fingerprints and and facial appearance be put in place before any further election is conducted.
That an Electoral Offences CommissionÂ be established to deter future impunity as has been the situation tilll date. ThatÂ the system of voting should be the MODIFIED OPEN BALLOT SYSTEM so as to prevent the current unacceptable situations ofÂ snatching and stuffing of ballot papers and boxes because voting and counting will take place simultaneously throughout the country.
Coder therefore wishes to send this SAVE NIGERIA SOUL MESSAGE to the Acting President Jonathan that he should utilise his good offices to ensure the implementation of Uwais report immediately. Any government from such a free,fair, and transparent election will restore legitimacy and credibility back to government and governance. Conducting a credible election should be the lasting legacy that Jonathan should aspire to bequeath to Nigeria.