ANOTHER litmus test before the Independent National Electoral Commission is the success of the Governorship election in Osun state.
ALL other things equal , people of the state will on September 22, four weeks away from now, file out the elect a new governor that will pilot the state for another four years.
THE incumbent, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola’s tenure comes to an end on November 27, having spent eight years in office. He got to office after a long legal battle with his predecessor, Olagunsoye Oyinlola.
ACCORDING to the electoral body, no fewer than 48 political parties participate in the election while about 1.6 million voters will be expected to cast their votes.
OSUN election is coming just two months after Ekiti election . INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmoud Yakubu had admitted that pockets of election in some areas in the state will be a yardstick to measure as what becomes the next year’s general election.
WE recall that INEC had recently conducted elections in states like Ekiti Kogi, Baruch, Kastina Rivers among others the general consensus was that the polls had a semblance of fairness. The Rivers was however worrisome as the place became theatre of war. The election was canceled and postponed indefinitely.
WE therefore canvas that Rivers experience be avoided in the coming election in Osun state.
OUR position is that the main stakeholders in the state election, including INEC, owe the nation and are indeed duty bound to conduct a transparent, credible and acceptable election for the people of Osun.
THE HOPE is of the belief that neutrality of INEC is the first step at achieving a credible election. INEC must ensure that its staff and the ad hoc members that will participate in the election leave the politicians alone to play their game and not be their cohorts in rigging election.
WE recommend that the electoral body devise a means of insulating its members from being bribed . This will go a long way at checking election manipulations.
THE commission too must see that the materials for the election are at the polling booths on time, while other stakeholders too must conduct and comport themselves well before, during and after the poll. Voting and accreditation should be done simultaneously.
THE security agents for the election should not be partial and neither should they be seen supporting a political party or candidate against another with a view to subverting the election.
OUR position is that everyone involve in the conduct of the election must play the game according to the law guilding the election. We advise that they should shun any form of intimidation, harassment, arrest of perceived opponents during the election, people of the state should be allowed to choose their next governor freely.
DEMOCRACY is about a free choice by the people. Election observers and the media should gird their loins to ensure that the exercise is not compromised.
THE politicians should not see the coming governorship election in Osun State to be a do-or-die one. There’s going to be a winner and a loser, the winner should be magnanimous in victory, while the loser should know that there’s always a second time. Nobody, no matter highly placed should be allowed to subvert the present democracy.
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