A Pro-democracy and non-governmental organisation, Human Right Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA), has urged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to take a compulsory tutorial from Governor Ifeanyi Okowa on how to conduct a free, fair and credible election in 2019.
National Co-ordinator of the group, Emmanuel Onwubiko, stated this in Abuja yesterday while receiving Senior Special Assistant to the Governor of Delta State on Civil Society, Felix Ofou, who paid the HURIWA boss a courtesy visit.He said the leadership of INEC as presently constituted had failed and would need tutorials from Okowa for it to meet the expectations of Nigerians in the forthcoming 2019 elections.
Onwubiko, who poured encomiums on the capacity of Okowa to deliver on free and fair election on the recently-conducted presidential primaries of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in which former Vice President Atiku Abubakar emerged victorious, said: “Okowa did a marvelous job out of the highly anticipated primaries. He did not only make the process to be transparent, but it was seen by all to have been transparently free and fair, more so that at the end, even the losers were happy and are currently working with the person that emerged.
“I think Prof. Mahmud Yakubu, the INEC National Chairman and his team require some lessons from your governor if we Nigerians are to expect a free and fair deal in 2019.”The human rights activist further commended Okowa for appointing Ofou, also a renowned journalist and activist, as a Senior Special Assistant on Civil Society.and expressed the hope that the governor would sustain the office even after the 2019 election when he would have been returned for a deserving second term.
Meanwhile, Ofou had earlier said that the visit was to familiarise with HURIWA as a foremost human rights group and to seek partnership with other civil society organisations in the country with a view to help provide capacity-building for similar groups based in Delta State.
The governor’s aide noted that Delta State is about the only state in Nigeria to have recognised the civil society for the purpose of effective partnership with government.
He also told the HURIWA boss that the governor created an enviable standard in Delta during the last PDP primary election by not endorsing any candidate for any position, and ensuring that the umpires conducted a free, fair and transparent election in the state, a stand he said was unprecedented.
Credit – Segun Olaniyi (The Guardian)