Felix Ikem, Nsukka
Former governor of Delta State, Emmanuel Uduaghan, has called for stiffer punishment for electoral offenders.
He made the call in Nsukka, yesterday, during the “1st Emmanuel Uduaghan annual public lectures,” under the auspices of Prof. BIC Ijomah Centre for Policy Studies and Research, University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN).
While delivering a lecture entitled: “Making Nigeria elections cleaner, transparent and credible,” Uduaghan said: “All those arrested for violating the electoral laws should be punished expeditiously, to serve as lesson to others.
“I’m aware many offenders during 2015 election are still in court, or yet to make court appearance; this should change. Obviously, the election offences’ court has become overdue and should be set up as quickly as possible.
“Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) should be more rigorous in its selection of ad hoc staff. This should be done on time and series of training conducted long before the election, to allow for local people to identify partisan officials who might slip through the cracks.
“The continuing sabotage of the card readers should be checked and rechecked again. INEC should come up with a fail-safe system; there is need to further improve on the efficiency and the efficacy of the card reader,” he said.
Uduaghan, however, admitted that 50-50 progress has been made in election in Nigeria in the past 20 years with unbroken democratic rule.