By Lukman Olabiyi
A non governmental Organisation (NGO), Centre for Human Rights and Social Justice (CHRSJ) has declared the newly inaugurated Electoral Reform Committee set up by President Muhammadu Buhari as a mere waste of resources.
CHRSJ described the new committee as another jamboree to give job to political jobbers who were beneficiaries of the manipulated electoral system in the country.
Rather than ‘wasting scarce resources’, Comrade Adeniyi Sulaiman, who is the Executive Chairman, CHRSJ, urged the president to implement the Justice Mohammed Uwais Electoral Reform Committee’s report and the report of the 2014 National Conference which dealt with the problems surrounding electoral reforms in our political space.
President Buhari recently constituted a 24-man committee on Constitution and Electoral Reforms headed by former Senate President, Dr. Ken Nnamani. The committee is expected to look into possible amendments to the Constitution and Electoral Act and come up with a more robust, endurable and generally acceptable electoral system.
In a statement signed by Sulaiman, CHRSJ insisted that the committee was a ploy to waste resources at a time the country is facing economic recession. He, therefore, advised the president to send the Uwais report to the National Assembly for implementation, instead of wasting
huge resources on another committee whose report, he said would end up in archive.
Sulaiman, who doubles as Chairman, Civil Societies Coalition for the Emancipation of Osun State (CSCEOS), also advised Buhari to purge the nation’s electoral body of bad eggs, particularly, those who facing investigation on the mind-boggling bribery scandal that rocked the electoral commission during the last general elections so as to serve as deterrent to others.
He said all the electoral commission staff found guilty of corrupt charges in the last general elections should be charged to court for proper prosecution and all their alleged corruptly acquired property should be confiscated.
The CHRSJ boss opined that the responsibility of conducting local elections should be transferred to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) so as to deepen the democratic space in the local governments of Nigeria. He noted that the present state of the local governments, in the hands of State governors, was nothing to write about, adding that the governors have turned the local governments into conduit pipes to perpetrate their corrupt practices.