From Ndubuisi Orji, Abuja
A Civil Society group, Conference of Civil Society of Nigeria has called on the Independent National Electoral Commission ( INEC) to re-order the sequence of polls in the 2023 general elections.
The chairperson of the group, Adams Otakwu, who made the call, at a press briefing,in Abuja, said the 2023 polls should start with the governorship elections, and not the presidential election as contained in INEC time-table.
Otakwu said the re-ordering of the sequence of election is necessary to avoid any disruption that might arise from the conduct of the presidential poll.
He noted that though the series of electoral reforms since 1999 have sanitized the electoral process, there are no proofs that conducing presidential election before gubernatorial polls has conferred any benefits on the polity.
According to him, “the 2023 Presidential election is for all intents and purposes, the most keenly contested, not only in this fourth republic, but in the entire history of our great nation.
“In light of the impending close Presidential race, there is the pressing need to avert potential constitutional or and political crises that may possibly arise from inconclusive elections at that stage, and the consequent adverse impacts such a possibility will have on the conduct of subsequent polls.
“The surest way to nip this undesirable outcome in the bud is to set the electoral pace by the gubernatorial contests come February 2023, as opposed to the current schedule issued by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC which tees off with the Presidential polls.”
Otakwu added “the adjustments shall in no way hinder INEC’s momentum, since it is a simple case of substituting one election with another, as opposed to the vexed substitution of candidates arising from pre-election litigations.
“We therefore call on INEC to do the needful by effecting this relevant adjustment immediately. We equally enjoin all true democrats to stand up and be counted in support of this people-oriented call to review the sequence of the 2023 elections”.