By Perez Brisibe
UGHELLI—Centre for the Vulnerable and the Underprivileged, CENTREP, has asked President Muhammadu Buhari to use his second term in office to implement the reports by the Muhammed Uwais, Sheikh Lemu and Ken Nnamani Electoral Reform panels in a bid to enhance the conduct of future general elections’ nationwide.
The group also described previous elections in the country since independence as a “big joke” saying, “Our nation has remained a laughing stock in the eyes of the whole world for too long simply because elections nationwide have remained a big joke since independence.”
CENTREP’s Executive Director, Ogehenejabor Ikimi in a statement yesterday, said: “The Second and Third Republics general elections nationwide were a sham as same signalled the beginning of vote buying and other vices inimical to credible, free and fair election except for the 1993 Presidential election.
“We make bold to say that since independence, general elections nationwide have been a big joke. The Fourth Republic which began in May 29, 1999 ushered in a new vice of ballot snatching, ballot stuffing and vote allocations into our electoral process amongst other vices.
“The above no doubt necessitated the then incumbent President, Umaru Yar Adua in the year 2007 to set up the Uwais Electoral Reform Panel in a bid to reforming our stunted and deformed electoral process.
“Then came President Goodluck Jonathan, who in the year 2011 set up the Sheikh Lemu Electoral Reform Panel also in a bid to reforming our nation’s electoral process.
“The Sheikh Lemu Ianel like the Uwais Panel recommended a wide range of electoral reforms. However, neither did the administration of the late Yar Adua nor that of President Jonathan have the will power to implement the above wide range of useful reforms recommended by both panels.
“In the year 2015, came the Ken Nnamani Electoral Reform Panel set up by the incumbent President Buhari which recommended a wide range of reforms as an addendum to the ones recommended by the Uwais and Lemu panels but till date, no white paper had been published by the Federal Government on the said recommendations just like the two previous administrations owing largely to glaring systemic errors and lack of will power to reform our electoral process.
“It is on the above note that we are using this occasion of the swearing-in of Mr. President to call on him to do the needful by implementing the Uwais, Lemu and Nnamani electoral reform panel reports in a bid to enhance the conduct of future general elections nationwide as our present electoral processes are deformed and stunted and needs urgent reforms.”
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