Electoral impunity, a democratic recession in Nigeria, says YIAGA
A former lawmaker in Kwara State in the Second Republic, Chief Wole Oke, has recommended the registration of only three political parties by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in future elections in the country.
He said the three political parties would be the ones to be recognised by the INEC for national elections while other political parties would be restricted to their local government areas as practised in some other countries of the world.
Oke, who stated this in Ilorin, the state capital, during a chat with reporters, said under such arrangement, political parties that wish to contest at the local council levels could float their parties.
He lamented that the present situation in the country where we have the logo of 91 political parties on the ballot papers was unwieldy.
According to him, even literates find it difficult to identify the logos of the political parties to vote for talk-less of the illiterates and elderly electorate.
He said that the involvement of the military in the process of conducting elections in the country was to curb the excesses of political parties and plans by some politicians to hijack the political process and seek power by force.
Meanwhile, a group, YIAGA Africa, has said that the level of impunity observed in the supplementary governorship elections is an indication of democratic recession in Nigeria.
Chairman, Watching the Vote Working Group, Dr. Hussaini Abdu, who spoke yesterday in Abuja at a press briefing, regretted that political thugs unleashed violence and terror on unarmed voters, INEC officials and citizens without any form of restraint or reprimand from security agencies deployed for the elections.
Abdu said in some cases, political thugs overpowered security agents despite massive security deployment as reported in Makurdi where the returning officer for Gboko was shot by unknown gunmen on her way to the state headquarters to submit election results as well as in Ukum Local Council, Benue State, where thugs burnt election materials in polling units.
According to him, incidence of this nature questions the effectiveness of massive security deployment for elections.