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ONI CHARGES INEC ON CREDIBLE POLLS IN 2011

By Lere Olayinka

Ekiti State Governor, Engr. Segun Oni has urged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to make sure that the 2011 general elections are not only credible but are also perceived as credible.

Governor Oni, while playing host to the State new Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Alhaji Isiaku Maigoro , who paid the governor a courtesy visit in his office, noted that the destructive propaganda of election losers in Nigeria is one of the major problems militating against the country's electoral process.

The governor, who described himself as one the victims of high-wired election propaganda urged INEC to do a self appraisal by looking into past elections in the various States and local councils in the country with a view to using it findings to plan for future elections.

“INEC should endeavour to find out who set its office at Ido-Ekiti ablaze. The commission should investigate the number of votes that were destroyed during the rerun election in this State and those responsible for the destruction.

“If there is any government in this country today that is pained on how elections are perceived, it is this government. We are pained to the marrow on elections are perceived in Nigeria because we know, and those vilifying the election that brought us to office too know that our election was about the best in this part of the country.

“In 1991, when Ekiti was part of Ondo State, the total number of votes cast in Ekiti was 243,066. As Ekiti State, the total vote recorded in the 1999 Elections was 494,963 (more than double the 1991 figures!).

454,750 votes were recorded in 2003. In 2007/2009 the figure dropped dramatically to less than 300,000 votes.

“Ironically, the beneficiaries of the massive votes of the past, which are in fact considered unrealistic and fraudulent, are the ones that are making the loudest noise ostensibly; because they no longer own the terrain!

“Ironically, the same people, who messed up the system, were the ones crying the most.

“It will therefore be in the best interest of people like us whose election have been so vilified by bad losers that INEC clean-up its own shop effectively, and conduct an election that will be perceived as right in 2011,” Oni said.

Speaking earlier, the new REC, Alhaji Maigoro expressed the readiness of the commission to conduct a credible election, adding that he would embark on a tour of all the INEC offices in the 16 Local Government Areas in the State to access the level of infrastructures and personnel on ground.

He urged the State government to assist the commission in sensitising the public on its activities, saying; “in performing our duties, we cannot do without the government.”