Election Postponement Is Not Only A Failure Of INEC, But Collective Failure Of Both INEC And Political Actors – J.S. Okukepa

* Says No One Put On Patriotic Political Cap For The Good Of All

*Stresses On Why Political Parties Do Not Want To Spend Money To Get Well Trained And Well Motivated Party Agents

Senior Advocate of Nigeria, J.S. Okutepa, has said that the postponement of the elections fixed for today and next weekend is not only a failure of INEC but collective failure of both INEC and political actors.

According to the learned silk, for the past years, it does appears we as a people have preoccupied ourselves with divisive primordial partisan interest that we seem to forget that what we do and say in the name of freedom does not advance the interest of democracy. He recounted many of the things that have gone wrong, and wondered by government have not been able to bring the perpetrators to book.

“I think preparations for elections beginning from parties primaries to the actual elections are so crucial and fundamental that it must be taken seriously if smooth democratic process and norms must be allowed to thrive. For the past years, it does appears we as a people have preoccupied ourselves with divisive primordial partisan interest that we seem to forget that what we do and say in the name of freedom does not advance the interest of democracy.

“It was not quiet long ago that budget for INEC was presented to NASS for approval. The scrutiny and approval of the budget was haphazard done. This is because those who were saddled with the legislative oversight to do the job had to hurriedly do it so as to abandon legislative duties for partisan selfish interest. Then close to the date fixed for elections we saw fire gutting INEC offices where electoral materials were destroyed. When all these criminal destruction of electoral materials were going on security operatives seem to have gone on leave. The saboteurs went Scot free. Political parties and party leaders went their separate ways. No one was thinking for free and fair polls. All were planning how to out manipulate the processes for selfish political advantage. No one put on patriotic political cap for the good of all.

“Electoral processes were subverted and were being subverted for personal gains. Nigerians watched their leaders do wrong and keep quiet. Those who shout on top of their voices did not have access to national treasury to loot. Those looting see nothing wrong with our political process. Those who care to speak the truth were not listened to. The political parties that should have played significant roles in political enlightenment and education went to sleep. Political rallies became dancing arena. Name callings became our political manifestos and agenda. Issues were left unattended to. Preparation for election cannot just be done for months or so to elections,” he said.

Speaking further, he also said that INEC has no years of enforceable strategic and development plans for our elections, adding that our elections have always been conducted and done on adhoc basis. He also stressed that political parties and party leaders do not want to spend money to get well trained and well motivated party agents and staff, and that today we are seeing what were put in place for our dear country. Concluding, he said that Nigerians are indeed the enemies of Nigeria. He, therefore asked Nigerians to blame not INEC alone as we all must share in the blame.

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