Election materials: Aremu lauds INEC, says Nigeria needs to start with a clean slate

A presidential Aspirant of the Accord Party, Mr. Folorunso Aremu Eddo has described the announcement of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) that sensitive materials will no longer be routed through the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) as a wise decision

This is even as he said that the present CBN Governor is compromised, adding that a clean election is needed to move the country forward.

In an interview with Journalists, Eddo said “If they want a clean election, it is better that way. The All Progressives Congress Party (APC) will try their best to rig the election especially if Tinubu is their candidate. You don’t hear them saying how they will fix the country.

“All you hear is their right to rule Nigeria as if it’s their birthright. Peter Obi is the right choice for Nigeria. We need to start with a clean slate, back to the drawing board. I believe Peter Obi can do it, God bless Nigeria.

“I do not see any direct implication on the economy. The decision does not have any monetary value, so I do not see any positive or negative effect by the decision on the economy,” he said.

INEC had last week said that sensitive electoral materials will in the meantime no longer be routed through the CBN.

Speaking during a Conversation on Election in Nigeria titled: The Electorate, anchored by Ebuka Obi-Uchendu, a popular television host and presenter, the chairman of INEC, Prof Mahmood Yakubu, specifically noted that, beginning from the Ekiti State Governorship election, the Commission will not keep its sensitive materials with the apex bank.

He said, “This decision is to guarantee that electoral materials for the lined-up elections are not compromised.

Prior to now, individuals and groups have raised serious concerns about the sanctity of elections materials kept with the CBN.

Also reacting to the recent  decision by the National Independently Electoral Commission (INEC), to stop keeping or storing electoral materials in the custody of the country’s Apex Bank, the   Central Bank of Nigeria, is a welcome development.

Reacting to the decision, some notable politicians in Imo State told Daily  Champion in Owerri the Imo state capital, that in the past, CBN had not been thorough in safe keeping of the electoral materials, hence the fraud that followed it.

According to a frontline politician in Owerri, Chief Desmond Nnaji Okeke,  most of the electoral malpractices witnessed in the past electoral outings in Nigeria were made possible by CBN officials.

Chief Okeke alleged that the electoral materials during elections some times were smuggled out to some  politicians who in turn commit electoral fraud with them during elections.

He advised INEC to change it’s style this time to ensure water tight custody of the electoral materials

According to him, “INEC should locate a more  credible organization but not the Nigeria Police, Army or any other member of the Armed forces and para military, to safe keep the materials” .

He strongly believed that most of the electoral matters in the past hinged on falsified electoral materials purported to have been supplied by the electoral body.

Also reacting a strong woman politician in Okigwe town, Chief Mrs Dorothy Nnena Uzondu welcomed the decision praying that INEC should this time conduct elections that would accepted by all and sundry.

She said, “we expect that future elections should be conducted in a way that the image and reputation of the INEC will change for the better and attract international commendation.

In his opinion, a youth and aspirant of a political position in Imo State, Mr kelvin Ejiofor Amadi commended INEC for the decision to remove the right of safe keeping of the electoral materials from the Central Bank of Nigeria ( CBN).

He said “the Central Bank of Nigeria has been porous and a little carefree in keeping the materials”.

Mr  Amadi urged the electoral body to do everything within it’s power to conduct credible and transparent elections this time pointing out that in the past elections in the country had been seen as not too credible.

Also, a frontline politician and former Deputy Governor of Kogi State , Elder Simon Achuba, has commended the leadership of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) over its decision to henceforth stop keeping elections sensitive materials with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

He said that by the virtue of the fact that the leadership of the apex bank, where INEC has been keeping elections sensitive materials, has indicated interest in politics, such materials with it are no longer safe.

The former Deputy Governor who spoke with Daily Champion in Abuja, urged INEC to consider keeping elections materials in places like military settings and renowned commercial bank.

Elder Achuba further advised that “these places that INEC should be keeping  the sensitive materials, must be heavily sealed so that, any attempt to temper with them, will be easily detected.”.

He said the position of INEC was a further indication to Mr. President on what to do about the present state of the leadership of INEC.

Elder Achuba who wondered why the National Assembly did not do the needful when the CBN governor, Godwin Emefiele indicated interest to run for presidency, said ,”the CBN governor supposed to resign as soon as he developed interest in politics”.

The Independent National Electoral Commission had said that the electoral body’s sensitive election materials will no longer be “routed” through the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

Chairman of INEC, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, stated this on Saturday at an election dialogue, ‘The Electorate’, organised by a pressure group, Enough is Enough (EiE).

Yakubu said the electoral body has never had an issue with the CBN since the partnership started, but due to “current circumstances”, an alternative will be found.

He said the new measures would be adopted as early as the June 16 governorship election in Ekiti state.

Although the INEC boss did not disclose the “current circumstances” which gave rise to the development, but it may not be unconnected to the controversy that greeted the political ambition of CBN governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele.

Several groups, including the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), had called on INEC to stop routing sensitive election materials through the apex bank in the heat of the controversies.

Stakeholders had equally expressed concerns about the sanctity of election materials kept with CBN, following the partisanship of the apex bank’s governor, who had openly expressed his bid to contest the APC presidential primary.

The PDP had particularly called for the removal of Emefiele from his position as CBN Governor after it was confirmed he is a member of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).

The opposition party said the CBN Governor, having been a member of the ruling party, could no longer be trusted with INEC sensitive materials which were important to guarantee of free, fair and credible elections in Nigeria..”

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