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Politicians Laud INEC Over Conduct Of Presidential Elections
Some political scientists on Wednesday urged other African countries to emulate Nigeria’s electoral process put in place for the 2015 general elections, which was widely commended by the international community.
Maj.-Gen. Muhammadu Buhari of the All Progressives Congress (APC) was on Wednesday returned by the nation’s electoral body as the winner of the March 28 Presidential election.
The Independent National Electoral Commission had deployed smart card readers to read Permanent Voter Card for the first time during the election.
Prof. Solomon Akingboye, Head, Political Science Department, University of Lagos, told NAN that the results of the presidential election had shown that the country's democracy was on course.
Akingboye said that INEC had proven to the world that Nigeria could get it right, given the right playing field and an enabling environment.
"I want to call on other African countries to take a cue from Nigeria's electoral process that set a platform for our Presidential, House of Representatives and Senatorial elections, which held on March 28.
"It simply means that if we are determined, we can do it and right; because I know we all have the capacity to achieve great things for ourselves and for the continent.
"Let me also seize this opportunity to congratulate Nigerians and Nigeria on the outcome of the elections.
"I am particularly highly elated over the outcome of the election and the process put in place by the head of the commission, Prof. Attahiru Jega.
"I want to say that the election has been adjudged by both the local and international observers as being highly transparent, credible, free and fair, which is what we all have been clamouring for,'' he said.
The don also hailed the electorate, especially their roles before and during the elections, describing it as superb.
According to him, the electorate showed high level of decorum during the elections and must be applauded for exhibiting such trait.
On his expectations from the President-elect, Akingboye said he must be able to get down to work as soon as possible, to rectify what he described as the dilapidated system.
"I am sure that I am speaking the minds of all Nigerians in this regard.
"He must ensure that the entire system is fundamentally restructured, with special emphasis on the socio-economic and political terrain.
"As a man with proven integrity, we expect him to bring the desired change Nigeria has been yearning for,'' he said.
According to him, looking at Buhari's antecedents, it is a known fact that he is a man of discipline.
Akingboye said that with Buhari, it was expected that the high rate of corruption in the country would reduce drastically and it would be put on the right pedestal for socio-economic growth.
Dr Samuel Ugo, a Senior Lecturer, also of the Department of Political Science, University of Lagos, commended the electorate over their ability to play by the rules of the game.
Ugo noted that for any election to be adjudged successful, the role of the electorate, before, during and after must be taken into consideration.
He, however, said that the outcome of the presidential election especially, did not come as a surprise to many Nigerians.
According to him, the commission too must be lauded for the manner it went about the entire process, which ensured the wishes of the electorate were accomplished through their votes.
"However, having said all these, I want to state that the motto of the party that produced the new president-in-the-waiting is 'Change'.
"We expect to taste and experience that change, come another four years,'' he said.
Dr Olubunmi Ajibade, a Senior Lecturer, Mass Communication Department, University of Lagos, said the country now has a system that would be producing true leaders.
Ajibade said with what happened during the election, any leader that assumed office must perform or run the risk of being voted out.
"The process put in place has empowered the masses and makes their votes count,'' he said.
Some politicians in Lagos also spoke on the conduct of the election, describing it as a turning point in the country's democracy.
Mr Kola Ajayi, the Chairman of Alliance for Democracy (AD) in Lagos, said that he was happy with the way the election was conducted.
Ajayi said that he hoped that the conduct of free and fair elections would be sustained in the country.
"This is a free and fair election, and I believe that it will mark a positive change for the development of the country," he said.
Mr Oladele Idowu, Chairman, Mega Progressive People's Party (MPPP), said that the election was devoid of rigging as a result of the use of the Permanent Voter Card (PVC).
"The election was very good and it was free and fair. I pray that subsequent ones will be peaceful and follow suit," Idowu said.
Mr Olumide Oguntoyinbo, Chairman, Progressive People's Alliance (PPA) also said the use of the PVC helped the system.
According to Oguntoyinbo, it is the use of the PVC that guaranteed accuracy in the number of voters that came out to vote.
"This is the best election that has ever held in the country and this was made possible by the current government.
"It marks a positive turning point in our democratic dispensation which shows good leadership by the present government," he said.
The Chairman of Action Alliance (AA), Mr Sola Omolola, said, "to a large extent, the election was free and fair, and I think that INEC should be commended.
"I assume that they should work on their logistics but on a broader level, they have done a good job.
Source: News Agency of Nigeria