From: MAGNUS EZE, Abuja
A coalition of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), the National Democratic Movement (NDM), has called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to reverse the election timetable for 2019 such that elections start with the House of Assembly to the presidential.
The group also decried the process of selecting party candidates for elections, calling for more community involvement in determining their representatives.
President of Justice and Law Enforcement Reformation Organization and National Coordinator of NDM, Hon Onamusi Onadeko told Daily Sun that the group was committed to building stronger institutions in Nigeria, adding that such institutions would help combat corruption and other forms of social vices and criminalities in the country.
Arising from its Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Abuja yesterday, the NDM expressed serious concern over the cancerous impediment of corruption due to very weak institutions and identified the legislative arm of government as one of the most critical institutions that should be strengthened because its motions and bills sharpen other institutions.
A communiqué signed by Hon. Onamusi Onadeko (National Coordinator) and Israel Nwagagbo (National Secretary) also harped on making representatives at the State and National Assemblies more responsive, accountable and protective of public interest.
“To strengthen our democratic institutions, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) should ensure that elections are conducted from the bottom to the top. In other words, INEC elections should start from the State Assemblies, National Assembly, Governorship and Presidential as the last election. This will engender participation at the grassroots, which is essentially the bedrock for sustainable democracy.
“We also resolved that communities and local governments should come together to identify individuals within their communities who are constitutionally qualified, passionate and can protect the sanctity of our constitution as a Nation for the development of our communities. We believe that the process by which candidates for elective positions in the various political parties emerge is compromised by high wired internal undemocratic selection process,” the communiqué stated.