Tuesday, 30 March 2010

News Release: SNG Backs Labour’s Action

The Save Nigeria Group (SNG) declares total support for the mass action for Electoral Reforms and removal of Professor Maurice Iwu as Chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, slated for Wednesday, March 31, 2010 in Abuja .

There is no doubt that the most urgent and critical issue that confronts Nigeria today is how to guarantee free and fair elections as well as restore faith in the ballot box and the electoral process. Part of the stigma of the tragic tenure of Professor Iwu as INEC Chairman is the perversion with impunity of the electoral will of the Nigerian people. The chequered history of electoral banditry in Nigeria has its darkest pages during the inglorious era of Iwu. The 2007 elections in Nigeria in particular have been adjudged as the worst in the history of humanity by both local and foreign observers. This is rightly so as there are still petitions in the Tribunals for elections conducted in 2007 even when Iwu’s INEC has unfolded the “time-table” for 2011 elections.

Perhaps we would not have been this worried if not that our moral columns have totally collapsed to the point that Maurice Iwu, in concert with his accomplices, is already scheming for a second term as INEC boss. His Comrades-in-Electoral-Crimes have started showing their faces with the ways the Senate President David Mark asked Senator Isiaka Adeleke, Senate Committee on INEC Chairman, to receive pro-Iwu demonstrators last week in the premises not accessible to SNG on March 10, 2010.

Not that alone, some otherwise respected columnists have also joined the bandwagon of the ‘Iwu-Must-Stay’ campaigns, based on so-called “experience” which has not been palatable to electoral process in Nigeria.

The time has come for Nigerians to boldly press for Iwu’s removal as a first step towards electoral reforms in Nigeria. We are not oblivious of the fact that the removal of Iwu on its own would not stop rigging in Nigeria but it is a right step to take to imbue confidence in the electoral process.

This is why we back the action of organized labour and urge all Nigerians to support the protest. What is at stake is the destiny of Nigeria and its people. It is clear to all discerning minds that we cannot solve any of our problems as long as we do not have credible leaders – leaders who are accountable to the people and leaders who hold their staying in office to the electoral will. This is why SNG has impressed it on Acting President Goodluck Jonathan that the most important agendum to which others can be added is Electoral Reforms. On that we stand!

Never again must our people be subjected to cabal rule, given what we have experienced in the last 135days. And the best way forward for us not to ever again trek that ugly route is to insist on Electoral Reforms now!

(1)Engr. Buba Galadima (2)‘Yinka Odumakin (3)Salihu Lukman  (4)Mike Igini (5)Osita Okechukwu (6)Mallam Tanko Yunusa