A leading socio-political group in the South West, Afenifere, has expressed doubts about the capacity of the present administration to conduct free and fair elections.
Buttressing its points, Afenifere pointed out that the “President still has the power to appoint his party members as managers of elections.”
The pan-Yoruba organisation made this observation in a communiqué issued at the end of a meeting on Tuesday.
It said the 1999 Constitution (as amended) gives the President too much power in appointing officials of the electoral body.
This was the position of the Afenifere faction led by Ayo Adebanjo, which demanded that President Bola Tinubu set the country on the path of true federalism.
“Afenifere noted the recurrent rituals of hues and cries for electoral reforms after every national election and stated that Nigerians will continue to be afflicted with electoral brigandage under a constitution which overconcentrates powers at the centre and wherein the President of the Federation openly appoints his party members and lackeys as officials of a supposedly independent electoral commission and managers of elections,” the communiqué reads.
“It cannot be overemphasised that such a scenario will continue to set our people against one another in the evident unrestrained cutthroat competition for power.”
The group also asked the federal government to “summon the courage to match and reconcile the resolutions of the 2014 national conference and the reports of the APC (El-Rufai) Committee on Federalism for the holistic restructuring of the federation, which shall be enacted into a new constitution.”
Afenifere said it is time for “Tinubu to step forward with the requisite political determination to live for history and mobilise Nigerians to truly enact for ourselves an autochonous federal constitution.”
In October 2023, the President asked the upper legislative chamber to confirm 10 nominees as resident electoral commissioners (RECs).
Umoren, an ally of Senate President Godswill Akpabio, was among the 10 nominees the President recommended for confirmation.
In November, the upper legislative chamber confirmed the nominees, despite petitions against some of them.
Source: Daily Post