Posted by Pamela Eboh, Awka | 21 January 2019 | 535 times
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Resident Electoral Commissioner in Anambra State, Dr. Nwachukwu Orji, at the weekend regretted that with few days to the February presidential election, over 300,000 PVCs are yet to be claimed.
He made the disclosure during a town hall meeting in Awka organised by Academics in tertiary institutions in South-East and South-South under the aegis of Academic Frontiers Initiative (AFI), Anambra chapter.
The REC, who was represented by the Head of Department, Voter Education and Publicity, Leo Nkedife, enjoined lecturers who have been engaged for the 2019 general elections not to compromise their integrity for a pot of porridge.
He urged them to live above board by ensuring that 2019 general elections remains the best in the annals of Nigeria’s democratic history.
According to the political scientist, INEC has perfected plans to give Nigerians a free, fair and credible election this year.
Orji noted that the delivery of a credible election depends on everybody, not just lecturers that serve as collation and Returning Officers during the election based on integrity reposed on them.
While decrying the rate of voter apathy experienced in Anambra state during elections, the REC condemned vote buying and asked stakeholders to mobilise their people to come out and vote on Election Day.
He maintained that it is of no use registering over two million voters when only 22 percent come out to vote even as he urged political parties to nominate credible people as their party agents to assist in the credibility of the election outcome.
A resource person at the event, Dr Nick Okoye, decried the docility of Political Science departments in Nigerian universities saying they do not proffer solutions to the failing democratic culture Nigeria is operating.
He challenged Nigerians to get rid of entitlement culture which is the bane of the Nigerian society.
Okoye also called on Nigerians to have a rethink and elect leaders who are visionary and reliable by shunning mediocre and lousy leaders who have no interest in the future of Nigeria.
He called for enhanced interest in Science and Technology saying that it is the next industrial revolution imminent to rule the world.
He said that “Igbos are the best in the world and would have been part of inventions like the computers as Mobinson computers if not the sabotage by those responsible for patent.”
On his part, the National Coordinator of Academic Frontiers Initiative (AFI), Dr Chinedu Onyeizugbe, explained that the town hall meeting became necessary to mobilise lecturers who act as advisory and intellectual moulders to become partners in ensuring good governance through sensitisation and advocating for free, fair and credible election.
Dr Onyeizugbe while harping on the negative consequences of electoral malpractices especially vote buying and rigging noted that the ignorance of a voter in a democracy like Nigeria’s impairs the security of all.
He insisted that as lecturers they have responsibilities as stakeholders to ensure free, fair and credible polls.
The AFI national coordinator called on people to promote procedural integrity and shun every attempt to rig the general election against the will of the people even as he asked traditional leaders, religious leaders and market leaders to sensitise their subjects to reject vote buying and vote according to their conscience.
He further warned against acts capable of jeopardising the democratic process of voting the best candidate for the presidential election who regardless of political party will have the political will to be fair to all Nigerians, respect the rule of law and engage best hands in professional affairs of the nation.
“Someone that will give appointments based on competence, run all-inclusive governance that is devoid of tribalism, nepotism, and restructure the county for fairness, equity and justice which is the wish of the common man,” he added.
Contributing, the Dean, Faculty of Social Sciences, Nnamdi Azikiwe University Awka, Prof Chinyere Stella Okunna, Chairman on the occasion and other notable attendees commended the Academic Frontiers Initiative and urged them to mobilise themselves to vote in a credible candidate for the future of Nigeria.
Prof Okunna, who represented the Vice Presidential Candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and former Governor of Anambra State, Mr Peter Obi, reiterated that Obi and Atiku are the best Nigerians needed now than ever as she witnessed Obi’s feats in Anambra during his eight years of governance.
Prof Okunna insisted that good governance should not be selective and discriminating but holistic for the entire country.
According to her, the democratic model Obi presented in Anambra through Anambra Integrated Development Strategy (ANIDS) developed the state simultaneously and expressed hope that the entire country would be developed by Atiku and Obi if given the chance.
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