By Demola Akinyemi
Ilorin—National Commissioner of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Dr. Abdulkadiri Oniyangi, has said Nigerians were capable of organising free and fair elections in 2011.
He said: “The much celebrated June 12, 1993, election was conducted by Nigerians.”
Oniyangi, who said this in Ilorin, at the weekend at the 45th annual national conference of Ilorin Emirate Descendants Progressive Union, IEDPU, said a review of INEC activities so far indicated that everything was being done to correct the global electoral deficiencies, which the nation had incurred on account of her poor electoral outing in 2007.
Represented by Professor Hassan Saliu, Oniyangi, however, admonished Nigerians, saying “all will be well only if we learn appropriate lessons from especially the 2003 and 2007 general elections that have, no doubt, produced electoral deceit, judging by the general feelings that the two elections have fallen of standard expected of credible, free and fair polls.
He further charged Nigerians to collectively resolve to ensure that the 2011 general elections “are better organised.”
, administered and enjoyed a higher level of participation by Nigerians.”
INEC commissioner added “I, of course, recognize that INEC alone cannot bring about the kind of elections desired by Nigerians.
“The citizens have to cooperate with the electoral umpires in terms of performing their duties to ensure the success of the 2011 elections.”
Also speaking at the event, Governor Bukola Saraki of Kwara State noted with satisfaction that the annual event had helped to strengthen peace, understanding and harmony, not only among the indigenes of Ilorin emirates, but also among the generality of the people of the state.
Saraki, who was represented by the Secretary to the State Government, SSG, Alhaji Saka Isau (SAN), thanked the Emir of Ilorin, Alhaji Ibrahim Sulu_Gambari, his chiefs, religious and community leaders in the emirate for their support.
According to him, the support “has made this administration to have moved the state to a greater height.”