By Ado Hassan, Sokoto
A University Don, Professor Mohammed Junaidu has urged the Independent Electoral Commission(INEC) to strengthen its electronic system device (Card Reader) to achieve a more acceptable and credible results during the 2019 general elections.
Professor Junaidu made the call in Sokoto while presenting a paper titled: ” Ensuring a Violent Free and Credible Election in 2019 “- the role of relevant stakeholders.
According to Junaidu who is of the Education department of the Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto noted that a free, fair and credible election was a basic requirement in a democratic process.
” If adequately managed and conducted will foster and strengthen the confidence of electorates for national stability”, he pointed out.
The One-Day interactive session on” Violent Free and Credible General Election come 2019″ was organised by African Better Life Organisation in conjunction with INEC.
Junaidu added” any election not free and fair, can endanger our free and fair economy
with adverse consequence.
” It can also make the government in power loose public confidence.”
He described democracy as a constant struggle which provides room for equal participation of various stakeholders stressing that ” it must be all inclusive, peaceful and transparent in all processes.”
The university lecturer arguably blamed confrontational and violent attitude of politicians and political parties as partly responsible for the realisation of peaceful and violent free elections.
However, government he said, must ensure adequate security and independence of the electoral umpire.
He stressed the need for stakeholders especially journalists, CSOs, NGOs among others to be fair to both political parties, electorates and the electoral umpire.
He appealed to the media especially social platforms to avoid fake news while emphasising that the spirit and practice of uplifting the values and principles of balanced, fair and credible reportage else can set the atmosphere in social confusion with sunsequent violence.
In thesame vein, the presenter regretted how traditional rulers were being dragged into politics, emphasising the urgent need for them to be neutral” they ought not be partisan but today, it has become almost impossible for them not to be partisan.”
He further cautioned young Nigerians not to allow themselves to be used for destructive mission but should be agents of peace and unity.
” Young people must serve as agents of peace not destruction”, he appealed.
The university don however, insist INEC must create atmosphere for continued awareness and ensure consistent voter education for Nigerians of voting age.
The Resident Electoral Commissioner, Abubakar Musa said the commission had improved in all its processes and activities ” what we have today is a positive departure from previous experience”, he explained.
According to the REC, represented by a top official, Ibrahim Abdullahi said the commission is fast improving by every elections dispensation.
” Inclusiveness is a hall mark commitment by INEC to ensure full participation to guarantee a free, fair and credible process before, during and after elections.
” We strategically plan our activities from staff training to the technical activities of elections despite the increasing number of political parties”, he explained