BY GABRIEL ENOGHOLASE
BENIN — GOVERNOR Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State has faulted the 2015 general elections time-table recently released by Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, insisting that it leaves loopholes for election rigging.
The governor, who spoke in Asaba, Delta State, after a stakeholders’ meeting of All Progressives Congress, APC, yesterday, said: “Nigerians cannot afford to continue to be a laughing stock even by West African standard.
“I don’t understand why INEC wants to climb the tree from the top. They recognise that they have some explanations to make. Common sense demands that you climb a tree from the bottom for good reason. In any case, we have been in this particular phase of democracy for 15 years, since 1999. What makes the Federal Republic of Nigeria is the collection of the federating states.
“When you want to conduct the presidential election first, and thereby deviate from an old pattern, then you have some explanations to make. It is more so when, under this particular leadership of INEC, they conducted National Assembly election first last time, people complained that they ought to have begun with the House of Assembly election.
“If you know that you still have to do some test-running, you rather try some test-running with smaller units because the governorship election will not be taking place in the 36 states. The election into the state Houses of Assembly can’t be as problematic as the presidential election.
“INEC has to convince us that their policies have been formed by strategy they can speak to. They need to speak to it by the commitment to deliver on free and fair election. All the noise that have heated up the polity points to the fact that the political class still takes the people for granted.” he maintained.
Urging the leadership of INEC to have a retrospective view of the already released time table, Oshiomhole said that conducting the election from House of Assembly to governorship and National Assembly before presidential election would pay-off for the 2015 elections.