With about two and half years to the general elections, a former Chairman, National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), Chidi Odinkalu, has expressed pessimism that the poll may not hold in 2019, considering the level of preparation.
Speaking in Abuja at a town hall meeting and presentation of the findings of a post- 2015 elections research conducted by ActionAid Nigeria, the NHRC Chairman averred that if the elections go ahead without proper preparation, crisis and deaths may ensue.
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While crediting the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for recording some gains in the 2015 elections, Mr. Odinkalu said 2019 may be different.
His words: “Today, the executive has gone into lax mode; judiciary has become lawless; National Assembly is lacking in credibility; INEC is troubled; politicians have gone unruly. Government says it has no money to run the economy. Every element that made 2015 is currently missing.”
“There is absolutely no reason why the executive should allow the number of vacancies we have in INEC to be. By next month, INEC will have 28 vacancies among RECs (Resident Electoral Commissioners) and seven commissioners. The Executive is carrying on as if this normal. It isn’t.
“Citizens are carrying on like: ‘We will tweet it on social media’. We should do more than that, because our country is at stake. The way we are carrying on, 2015 is history; 2019 may not happen, if we don’t reset. We‘ve got to take our country very seriously. There will be no elections in 2019.
“I’m sorry to sound alarmist. But, continuing the way we are going, we will not be able to have elections in 2019. If it happens, there would be too many broken heads and dead people.”