By Nzeh Frankwhite
The national President of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), has called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), to revisit the proliferation of political parties, so as to promote a smoother political climate in future elections.
Isiguzo, who was speaking in A recent chat with news men in Abuja, also called on the incoming 9th National Assembly to revive the amended electoral act for immediate presentation to the president for his assent.
The national President also gave kudos and knocks to the electoral commission on various issues, while promising that the union’s official report on the election will be made public soon, as it is being delayed by the yet to be concluded elections in some states, among others.
On his assessment of the recent election, “I want to express my happiness that Nigeria has emerged from the 2019 elections in one piece; this is despite predictions of doomsday prophets. There is no perfect election anywhere in the world; hence we can say that INEC has done fairly well. The process was transparent enough and we can say they did their best in that instance, except for the desperation of our political actors, which tend to obstruct the process in some few instances. However, we are worried about the issue of inconclusive elections; I think that the inconclusive elections present a major drawback on the achievements of the electoral process.
We didn’t get to hear of any major clampdown and intimidation of journalists that covered the elections, as was the case in previous elections, essentially because of the various fora we had with the various security agencies before the elections.”
On the issue of the military interference in some areas, He had this to say “ I must say that the military has officially denied this report, and INEC has set up a fact finding committee to investigate and report back, I think we should wait for the release of the report from INEC. However, I must state categorically, that if the military is eventually confirmed to have meddled into the electoral process, it is not a good one, and should be condemned.”
On the enabling laws guiding elections in Nigeria, he responds “I must call on the 9th National Assembly to immediately swing into action on this. They should revive the amended law and represent it to the president for his urgent assent; this will ease the process of conducting elections in Nigeria. We urgently need to embrace E-voting, so that we can do away with some of the tedious logistics of conducting elections in our country.
“INEC should also revisit the proliferation of political parties, because, it has not helped our political process, especially because most of these parties have not learnt to embrace being local parties, like it is practiced in various parts of the world, where political parties identify and restrict themselves to their areas of strength, instead, parties that do not exist beyond the capacity of its promoter are always claiming to be national parties. Imagine having 109 senators from 109 political parties, you can be assured of robust debates from various ideological standpoints,” concludes Isiguzo.