Posted by News Express | 20 September 2014 | 2,648 times
In its bid to further sensitise political stakeholders on the need for free and fair elections in the forthcoming general elections in the country, the University of Ibadan, has held a public lecture, tagged ‘Electoral Security in Nigeria’.
The event, which was held at the Trenchard Hall of the institution, played host to academics, students, students’ leaders, and other relevant stakeholders in and outside the university community.
The Vice-Chancellor, University of Ibadan, Prof Isaac Adewole, in his opening remarks, said that the University of Ibadan organise such events as part of its contribution to societal development, especially now that election mood permeates the country.
“We owe the society at large a huge responsibility in electoral process. We also owe them the truth. Of course, electoral problems and electoral development are inter-related. But we believe when there is undiluted accountable process, we will get whatever we want from the election, and the judgement of the electorates would be decided upon.”
The guest speaker of the public lecture, Dr Patrick Quirk, a Senior Conflict and Stabilisation Advisor at the United States’ Department of States, however, pointed out that there was a need for Nigeria to design a legal framework to make electoral procedures go smoothly, with a view to avoiding conflict and destabilisation during the forthcoming 2015 elections.
His words: “It has come to a time when politicians, civil societies, amongst other stakeholders, have to come together to make peaceful process of election in Nigeria, and make maximum impact on it.” He said that conflict, instability, instigation of violence and culture of impunity, which have, over the years, characterised politics of Nigeria, must be curtailed.
He added that election serves as a defining moment in the history of any country, saying that American history was also replete with struggles to ensure rights of citizens to vote into power their representatives, during election period.
“I encourage every Nigerian in these challenging times, including the aspirants, to take a pledge against violence during election period, and exercise their franchise dutifully as expected.”
•Photo shows UI VC, Prof. Adewole.
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