Don warns against interference in election

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A lecturer at the Lagos State University, Dr. Sylvester Odion-Akhaine, has warned that the country’s democracy may fail unless the Edo people are given an unhindered opportunity to express their franchise.

Odion-Akhaine, who gave the warning in a statement in Lagos, said no major democratic gain has been made since 1999 when Nigeria returned to a liberal democratic order.

He said the nation’s democracy has been largely observed in the deficit, adding that it was only kept alive by the optimism of the people.

Odion-Akhaine, who is the Head of Department, Political Science, said the self-serving political elites have deprived the state of development.

According to him: “The state has been particularly unlucky by being the dumping ground of imposed state executives, who are bereft of any idea of turning the civil service state around in the last 17 years of our democratic dispensation.”

He said the people’s choice of electing their leaders must be respected.

The don said it was unfortunate that “while the people groan under collective misery, its demagogic and pro-establishment incumbent revels in deceitful theatrics.”

He described the raising of false security alarm in the state by the federal security formations as not only despicable, but condemnable.

He lamented: “The intrusion of centralised organs of the state into the politics of Edo through false flag operation, signals the death of civil society and the intrusion of authoritarianism into the Nigerian polity.”

Odion-Akhaine warned that the country has no space for any would-be authoritarian ruler, because he would most likely be consumed by the act.

He said: “The contrived security situation in Edo seriously compromises the autonomy of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and casts gloom on future elections, especially that of 2019.”

The don added that, while the Edo electorate are highly constrained and choiceless, they should not be denied the power to vote in or vote out leaders who refuse to be responsive to their yearnings and aspiration.

In this article:
INECSylvester Odion-Akhaine


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