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OBJ berates politicians over electoral fraud

Former President Olu-segun Obasanjo has said electoral fraud in Nigeria and on the continent would subsist unless politicians reform themselves.

According to him, it is the attitude of politicians which make the conduct of free and fair elections impossible.

Obasanjo, who spoke in an interview at the Presidential Wing of the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Ikeja, Lagos, shortly on arrival from Lome, Togo, where he had gone to monitor the elections in that country Thursday night, said elections in Nigeria and Africa are bad because of bad politicians.

He pleaded with politicians to reform themselves, as there laid the solution to electoral fraud and violence in the country.

“Bad elections do not always occur; it is bad politicians.  The way to avoid electoral fraud is to go and improve on politicians, then you will have good elections,” said the former president.

Obasanjo was short of  holding the political class responsible for the very contentious general elections in the country in 2003 and 2007, stressing that if politicians chose to be fraudulent, there was little that could be done to ensure free and credible polls.

His contention, however, ran contrary to the views of most Nigerians that both elections failed because the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) compromised.

On the just-concluded elections in Togo, Obasanjo described it as reasonably free and fair, adding that this was so because of good preparation.

He said: “I was in Togo to monitor the presidential election. The election has taken place; I think the turnout  for the election was good.

“The preparation was reasonably good, and we are waiting for the counting of the votes and the declaration of  result. That may take the next 24 hours.”


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