From Godwin Tsa, Abuja
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has been asked to ensure good governance in the 2023 political dispensation by holding elected politicians accountable to Nigerians through their parties’ manifestoes.
The Commission was specifically charged to document manifestoes of all parties and use the same to effect checks and balances on leaders that would emerge in the next year’s elections.
National Commandant of the Peace Corps of Nigeria (PCN) Ambassador Dickson Akoh who threw the challenge said that INEC should not limit itself to conduct of elections alone but must be at the forefront of doing follow-ups that would make politicians abide and implement their manifestoes to the people.
Akoh who spoke in Abuja at the just concluded public forum to commemorate Nigeria’s 62nd Independence Day canvassed that the electoral body should be in a legal position to sanction politicians or political parties that fail accountability in the implementation of manifestoes.
The Peace Corps Boss sought legal backup for INEC to have the power to disqualify individuals and parties from subsequent elections upon being found liable for failure to adhere to and implement promises made during electioneering.
According to him, “Time has come for leaders to be made responsible through their actions. Holding elected leaders by their words and sanctioned when failed would herald positive responses to governance in the country”
“Time has come for us as a nation to have well-tailored manifestoes and I challenge INEC to document the promises being made by politicians, those who fail to keep to their freely made promises must be sanctioned before subsequent elections for the country to forge ahead in socio-economic development.
Besides, Akoh counselled elective office seekers across the country to give manifestoes of their political parties to Youths instead of guns that could disrupt peace and tranquillity during elections.
He pleaded with politicians to depart from politics of killings, maimings and destruction and opt for that development to make the country grow politically, socially and economically.
The Peace Corps boss disagreed that Nigeria has nothing to show for the 62 years of Independence adding that the fact that people of diverse ethnicity, religion, culture and tradition remained together for 62 years was worthy of celebration.
He recalled that countries especially, USSR stronger than Nigeria collapsed and separated over little issues adding that in spite of security challenges, political, religious and ethnical differences, the nation remains intact, calls for celebration.
Akoh then appealed to the entire Nigerians to continue to imbibe and promote Nigeria’s common unity warning that “if we divide, we will no longer have a country called Nigeria”.