Credible elections do not depend on INEC alone
The forthcoming elections
One thing I know is that it is not possible for us as a people to get to our destination immediately. We have been having problem with our electoral system in Nigeria since the first republic. The western region electoral problem of 1965 should still be fresh in the minds of the people. The personality of the INEC chairman is very important if we will have a credible election come 2011. What is the antecedence of Professor Attahiru Jega? This man is not going to be a magician and is not going to be God. However, I’m happy that Mr Jega himself understands that his person, his record, his personality, his integrity are on the line. I must say that in the history of ASUU struggle in Nigeria, he performed creditably well and when he left as the ASUU Chairman, series of articles were written in the newspapers to commend him as a sincere, faithful, credible, and dependable Nigerian. If the will is there, I believe Mr Jega is going to make a success of it.
However, the INEC chairman has been complaining about time factor, he had complained about this times without number, he has also told Nigerians to expect a credible election in 2011. But to have a credible election, we can’t depend solely on the body that will organise it, the civil society; the media, political parties, and Nigerians must put in a great will so as to have a credible election in 2011. The sincerity of the political class and internal democracy in the various political parties will also go a long way at ensuring a successful election come 2011. The most important thing is the will of the people to have election conducted latest by April 2011, and if the will is there, success will be the result.
Traditional rulers and the Constitution
The class that I represent want roles specified for traditional rulers in the constitution, but I believe that roles are already specified for all Nigerians in the 1999 Constitution. The traditional rulers are also subjects to all the roles specified in the constitution.
Traditional rulers’ involvement in politics
We are all political animals in the first place. I am a political animal and for me as a political scientist and a traditional ruler, I will be interested in what is going on in my society, including the political events. As someone who was so close to the corridors of power who is now a traditional ruler, how will I not be interested in politics? However, I am a father to everybody. For me, I am not partisan. I don’t have any favourite candidate. All candidates are all my children and I tell those who care to listen to embrace all candidates as their children. As traditional rulers we should not be partisan. We are supposed to be fathers to all of them. But, we have a responsibility to advise and support the government in power. Any government in power at any time should be supported by the traditional rulers, it’s our responsibility to give advice and counsel to the government of the day, even God urges us to do that in the Holy books.
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