=By Sanmi Falobi=
The Centre for Constitutional Governance (CCG), Lagos has urged Nigerians to ensure that only leaders who mean well for the country and have the capacity to deliver are voted into the various political positions in the fort-coming 2019 general elections.
The Executive Director of the Centre, Dr. Adewale Balogun, who stated this in a press statement noted that that Nigerians have a wide range of choices to choose from and should stop behaving as if they do not. In his words, “there are a good number of candidates being fielded for the various positions by the different registered political parties in the country, so I see no reason why Nigerians should limit themselves”, he said.
In the statement signed by Juli Iregbu, CCG’s programme officer, Dr. Balogun also condemned votes buying and selling, especially as witnessed in recent times and even in the political party primaries. According to him, “vote buying obstructs the democratic process by interfering with the rights of citizens to freely decide who will represent them and their interests, ultimately, it undercuts citizens’ ability to hold their elected officials accountable after they must have bought themselves their mandates.
While also condemning the evidenced lack of transparency and internal democracy in the way and manner the political parties primaries were conducted, he called on INEC to improve in their efforts to ensure that the political parties and their candidates comply with laid down regulations in the Nigerian electoral laws on the electoral process such as the ones against the over-monetization of process and refusal of political parties and candidates to adhere to the stipulated campaigning time-frame as is already been witnessed.
Finally, he appealed to Nigerians, especially the Youth to “shun violence and to work together to support credible candidates with vision, focus and a mentality that is totally disparate to the present politics of business as usual and its attendant greed and colossal pillaging that have sucked majority of the people into avoidable poverty, degradation and lack of say.”