By Garbiel Ameh, The Sight News
The Election Analysis situation room of the Sustainable Initiative for Nurturing Growth (SING) Nigeria has urged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to use the conduct of the 2021 Anambra Governorship election as a litmus test for the 2023 General elections.
This is just as SING disclosed that over the years, elections have not been held without the attendant challenges, hence a system that thrives on freedom of choice, managing our diversity and accommodating our heterogeneity during elections has given rise to issues of malpractices during conducts of our elections.
According to SING, the more the system tries to check the issues of malpractices in our elections, the more we see our politicians devising means of beating the system, adding that it is not surprising that today,we are faced with the monster of vote buying and selling which is an anathema to voting itself.
Briefing newsmen on Saturday in Abuja on the ongoing Anambra gubernatorial election, the Executive Director SING Nigeria, Mr. Idris Usman stated that elections in Nigeria are as though the politicians are going to war to fight, because there is a throne to be won, not because they actually want to govern the people right and justly, but rather to settle themselves and their close associates.
He noted that elections in Nigeria should be people-centered rather than centered around the ‘few selfish’ individuals who want to protect their wealth, ego and assert authority over others.
According to him, if elections are centered around the people and good governance, there will be a more civilised, coordinated and responsible society with less tension and violence during elections.
He further noted that money politics and vote buying during elections has been a major issue to be dealt with, yet INEC and the security agencies are doing nothing to curtail such an act which has eaten deep into the system.
On his part, Mr. Mohammed Basa, a member of the SING Nigeria, noted that, the election happening in Anambra is significant for a number of reasons which include free and fair election and also called on the Independent National Electoral Commission(INEC), against all odds, to use the conduct of the polls as a litmus test for the 2023 general election.
Speaking further on the importance of the Anambra gubernatorial Election as a litmus test to 2023 election, Mr. Basa stated that this election which came in the wake of the proposed amendments to the electoral law amidst widespread security concerns, owing to earlier sit-at-home orders by the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and other predated attacks on facilities and security personnel is indeed volatile and prone to serious skepticism.
SING Nigeria reiterated therefore, that, notwithstanding the celebrated decisions to empower the INEC on electoral transmission of results, allowing illicit spending passed into our electoral laws will be an unfathomable dip in our Democratic experience as a nation, adding that one of the very triggers of corruption is not unconnected to money politics as politicians seek every means to recoup money spent on buying votes when they eventually clinch office.
SING Nigeria therefore, urged all Anambarians to go all out to vote for a credible candidate of their choice.
“Your vote is your voice in the Electoral process; and ensure your vote counts”, they said.
The Sustainable Initiative for Nurturing Growth (SING) Nigeria is a registered nonpartisan, non-profit and non-governmental organization with a mandate to catalyze a society that is free of poverty and develops sustainably. SING Nigeria works in the thematic areas of Good Governance, Human Capital Development and Environmental Justice through strategic partnerships