ONDO ELECTION: There Should Be No Shady Activities Please – Says MURIC

ONDO ELECTION: There Should Be No Shady Activities Please - Says MURIC
ONDO ELECTION: There Should Be No Shady Activities Please – Says MURIC
Gubernatorial election will be held in Ondo State on Saturday 26th November, 2016. Already, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has rejected calls for postponement made by some political parties and insisted that the election must hold as scheduled.
The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) frowns at INEC’s insistence on holding the election as scheduled. Nothing makes Saturday sacrosanct. The guiding principle should be fairness to all parties concerned.
The air of uncertainty orchestrated by lingering court cases informed the request for postponement made by twenty one (21) political parties led by the People’s Democratic Party (PDP). INEC should have listened to that request since it would not have been the first time election dates were shifted.  
The green light given to the Appeal Court by the Supreme Court came at the twilight of preparations for the election and the final emergence of Eyitayo Jegede as the PDP’s candidate has vindicated the 21 political parties which demanded a postponement. A political climate enveloped by a thick cloud of uncertainty is definitely not the best in the circumstances.
Viewed from this perspective, the PDP’s candidate has been heavily shortchanged particularly because he has little or no time to campaign, review his strategy and marshal his arsenal of opportunities before the final onslaught. In short, INEC has not created a level playing ground for all parties.    
The onus is therefore on INEC to prove its good intention. INEC has the responsibility to put all its cards on the table in order to gain the confidence of all stakeholders. The electoral body must ensure a free, fair and credible election.
In the same vein, the security agencies should not allow themselves to be used for selfish ends. They must see themselves as the only umpires in the competition taking place on the field of democracy. They should manifest highest level of professionalism. Their neutrality before, during and after the election is very crucial to the attainment of a peaceful, free and fair election.
MURIC reminds all stakeholders that Ondo State is a very volatile state. Ondo was at the forefront in the days of ‘operation wet-e’ in the Wild Wild West of the 60s and it remains a riot-prone zone to date. While we acknowledge the herculean task before the security agencies, we affirm that only an unbiased composure will ensure a hitch-free electoral exercise. There should be no hanky-panky.
In conclusion, we appeal to the good people of Ondo State to prove to the world that they are not only leading in the field of education, but that they can also be models in political maturity. We therefore appeal to them to maintain high standards of electoral decorum in terms of calmness, peacefulness and respect for law and order throughout the period of the election.  
Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC),
Website: www.muric.net


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