RECs Involved In 2007 Rigging Should Be Sacked - Fashola
LAGOS, Dec 16, (THEWILL) - All Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs) and other officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) serving nationwide where the Courts of Appeal overturned the 2007 governorship elections should be fired from their jobs, according to Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, SAN.
The Governor made the declaration today when the Central Working Committee of the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ) paid him a courtesy visit at the Governor's Office in Ikeja, saying such officials should be out of INEC by now. NUJ National President, Alhaji Mohammed Garba led members of the Central Committee of the union on the visit. Speaking at the session, Fashola said all the affected INEC Commissioners should be prevented from participating in the 2011 general elections. He further noted that the next election would be the first step, which he said the commission would take to demonstrate to the people of Nigeria that it could deliver credible elections. "The Electoral Act “makes provision for sanction of such officials who aid irregularities in elections. Such officers by now should be answering questions and facing prosecution for their role in all the elections that were upturned by the courts. That is the strongest indication of intention that INEC can give Nigerians.” Fashola advocated the need for all countrymen "to closely monitor all the process of the 2011 elections on the ground that the quest for credible free and fair elections should not be left for INEC alone. "It must be a front burner issue for every Nigerian. Every one of us should play a positive role, show honour, show restraint, and stand up for our rights and participate during the voter’s registration on the day it is done,” Fashola. He charged the media on the 2011 elections just as he stressed the need for contents put in public domain to be censored frowning at the recent publication of the photograph of the suspected mastermind of kidnapping in Eastern Nigeria, Osisikankwu who was killed last week. “I think for me, it was untidy to put the picture of the dead body of that man on the cover page. I believe there must be code of ethics to guide publication of violent and dead bodies on cover pages of newspapers because our children also read papers.” The governor asked the media to lead the voice to change the perception of the world about Nigeria and its inability to conduct free and fair elections, saying that the nation does not necessarily need foreign observers to vet its elections before determining whether or not it was free and fair He said it would be "to our benefit that we wake up the next morning after elections to see a screaming headline that Nigeria gets election right for good. For me that would be a big success which the media would be credited for."