One time Deputy Speaker
of the Rivers State House of Assembly, Hon Iyk Oji, has described the postponement of the governorship election in Edo State by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, on the advice of the police and the Department of State Services, DSS, as an organised conspiracy against the Nigerian people.
Making this observation in an interview with The Tide in Port Harcourt yesterday, Hon Oji said that Nigerians were getting wiser by the day and were now too sophisticated and intelligent to be fooled all the time.
He advised the authorities concerned to organise themselves and act in the overall interest of Nigeria and stop pandering to sectional and partisan considerations.
According to the former lawmaker, it was ridiculous that the excuse of a terror threat was coming from the security agencies whose constitutional duty it was to provide a conducive environment for lawful businesses to thrive in the country.
He pointed to the absence of strong institutions as part of the undoing of the Nigerian nation, adding that a situation where appointed officials of government function as apologists to those who appointed them instead of carrying out their constitutional duties professionally was worrisome.
“When people are appointed, they see themselves as apologists of whoever appointed them, forgetting that they are there to carry out constitutional roles,” he lamented, emphasising that “we need to come into real constitutionalism where people will professionalise,” where an IG of Police owes commitment and loyalty to the constitution of Nigeria, where a Chief of Army Staff thinks of Nigeria”.
He ascribed the development to a systemic failure that is gradually undermining democracy in the country and fast losing the confidence and interest of the people and therefore called on the Federal Government to overhaul the Independent National Electoral Commission as presently constituted to stem the slide.
The one time Deputy Speaker said that a tapestry of the performance of the federal electoral body makes it difficult for Nigerians to trust them to deliver on their mandate on a national scale when they have not been able to efficiently conclude elections in any one state since the present leadership of the body assumed office.
“It started from inconclusive to postponement, to no election. It’s a gradual degeneration as it were”, he noted with regret, adding that “INEC is not ready to run an election as it is, otherwise they have no reason. Edo people are prepared for an election. It is the umpire that is saying ‘we are not ready’. It is a sad commentary”.