By Simon Ebegbulem
BENIN—FORMER Senate Chief Whip, Senator Rowland Owie, weekend, described as ill motivated, the call by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, for the extension of the 2011 general elections. He called on the National Assembly not to approve the extension.
Owie, who described those calling for extension of the date for the general elections as anti democrats, argued that the Prof Attahiru Jega-led INEC had received approval for funds needed to conduct free and fair elections in 2011 and wondered why the commission would be seeking for an extension, now that politicians have already made up their minds to prepare for the elections.
“I make bold to say that those calling for extension do not mean well for democracy and they just want to make the National Assembly look stupid and come around later to say that the National Assembly has lost focus or is an appendage of a particular body or individual,” he said.
Urging the federal lawmakers to disregard INEC’s request, he said “INEC has got the funds its requested for and should stop behaving like the bride groom, who could not act on his bride at night and then decided to come to the veranda to sit down on the excuse that there is too much heat in the room. Prof. Jega should go to work and face his assignment instead of taking Nigerians for a ride.
“If there is so much heat in the room, he should resign or keep to the announced programme. I wish to remind the National Assembly that all those who castigated the National Assembly when it invoked the doctrine of necessity are now enjoying the dividends of that action,” he added.
Also, those who lured some state Assemblies to reject financial autonomy now say, dangle cash to the Assembly, they can pass a law to condemn their constituencies.
Therefore the National Assembly must resist this request from Jega and his so called stakeholders in order not to be rubbished or blackmailed tomorrow” he declared