Nnamani must quit as Electoral Reform Committee Chairman - Fayose

By Lere Olayinka

Ekiti State Governor and Chairman, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)

Governors’ Forum, Mr Ayodele Fayose has called for the immediate

resignation of former Senate President, Ken Nnamani as chairman of the

Electoral Reform Committee and allow a non-partisan person to take

over, saying “if the federal government is serious about electoral

reform, Senator Nnamani, a card carrying member of the All

Progressives Congress (APC) won’t head the Electoral Reform

The governor, who also said there was nothing wrong with the country’s

electoral system, said; “It was the same electoral system that

produced the present APC government of President Muhammadu Buhari, in

an election adjudged as relatively free, fair and credible. So what

happened to the system after May 29, 2015 that this present government

took over? How did we get to this level of inconclusive and

questionable elections in which the Independent National Electoral

Commission (INEC) and security agencies appear to have become part of

the ruling party?”
In his presentation at the public hearing on constitution and

electoral reform held at Ogun State Cultural Centre, Abeokuta today,

Governor Fayose said; “Even when it inherited a working system that

conducted elections adjudged as free and fair by local and

international communities, INEC has failed consistently to replicate

the inherited working system due to overzealousness and rabid passion

to work as appendage of the federal government.
“Imagine an election that is ongoing, only for INEC to postpone

counting of votes by midnight, with the party agents driven away. Any

result announced in the morning has lost any credibility and

legitimacy and cannot represent the will of the people.”

The governor, who was represented by the Chairman, Ekiti State House

of Assembly Committee on Information, Dr Samuel Omotoso pointed out

that “The only time this country made an attempt at a reliable

electoral reform was during the tenure of President Umaru Yar’Adua who

appointed retired Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Mohammed Uwais as

the chairman. This singular move gave the panel credibility,

widespread acceptability and massive supports from all over the

country and across political divides.
“Such cannot be said of this panel that is overshadowed with massive

moral burdens and conflict of interest as a result of the chairman

being a card carrying member of a political party called APC.”

He said; “Senator (Dr) Ken Nnamani, being the South-East regional

leader of APC is incapable of rising above primordial and party

sentiments to give Nigerians anything different from electoral

inconclusiveness that we have at the moment.
“Any reform from such encapsulation can as well be said to be dead on arrival.”

Speaking further, Governor Fayose described INEC under the present APC

government as the champion of electoral malpractices, saying “INEC and

security agencies need to purge themselves of all these putrid

behaviours and face the reality of modern day democracy.

“As Governor of Ekiti State, I have no reservation about reviewing and

reforming our electoral process but I am reluctant about the sincerity

of purpose deploy each time we display such political hallucinations

under the guise of reforms, this has amounted severally to playing to

the gallery and this committee just like others that have embarked on

several wild goose chases in the past is not likely to be different.

“When those who are to supervise an election take over the process and

turn themselves to interested parties rather than rise above board,

then we breed nothing other than chaos, pandemonium, mayhem, confusion

and disorganisation of the whole process.
“We all know those who commit crimes during the elections but this

same people are protected using the police, who is supposed to ensure

orderliness and legal consequences for electoral infractions. The

police would rather arrest and prosecute the victims of electoral

malpractices and violence while releasing the actual aggressors due to

the relationship of these offenders to the government in power.

“The penchant for disorder by the umpire has got to a state of

obsessive compulsive disorder, in the sense that rather than ensure

sincerity of purpose within the system, what we have is deceit,

flippancy and double standards.
“Therefore, there is no gainsaying that this electoral review body is

not needed until the panel is equitable, non-partisan and devoid of

influence from the powers that be. He who comes to equity must come

with clean hands.”