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Polls shift: Blame successive govts, NASS — SERAP

THE Socio- Economic Rights and Accountability Project, SERAP, yesterday, urged Nigerians to blame successive governments from 1999 and the National Assembly for the postponement of the 2019 general election.

SERAP’s Executive Director, Adetokumbo Mumuni (middle) during the launch of the report in Lagos.

SERAP said it would not allow the matter of the postponement go even after the elections.

In a statement by its Deputy Director, Mr. Kolawole Oluwadare, SERAP said: “Giving the increasing tendency to postpone elections and the cumulative failures and corruption over the years, SERAP would, after the elections, pursue appropriate legal action against the government in power and the National Assembly leadership for the catalogue of breaches of constitutional and international obligations, and seek effective remedies for the citizens.

“The postponement of Nigeria’s elections since 2007 shows a systemic failure of leadership at the highest level of government, and suggests that our electoral process is deliberately skewed in favour of politicians’ interests, who continue to profit from the corruption and impunity that have characterized the process since 1999, and against those of the citizens.

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“SERAP would also deploy the Freedom of Information Act to seek information on details of spending by INEC since 1999, as part of our initiatives to improve transparency and accountability of governmental operations and promote respect for citizens’ right to participate in the processes of government and governance in the country.”

“SERAP notes that postponement of general elections has become a recurring feature of the country’s electoral process. For example, the 2007 general elections witnessed late arrival of election materials from South Africa in April of that year, contributing to denying millions of voters their right to political participation.”

“SERAP also notes that the 2011 general election suffered the same organizational lapses, with the elections postponed for two days after it had commenced. In 2015, the government of former president Goodluck Jonathan postponed the election for six weeks on the pretext that it needed time to reclaim the local governments reportedly taken over by the Boko Haram terrorist group.

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