Centre urges vigilance by Nigerians in 2019 poll

INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu

As Nigeria prepares for the 2019 election, the Centre for Anti-corruption and Open Leadership (CACOL), yesterday, in Lagos, called on Nigerians to be vigilant in casting votes for preferred candidates.

The centre said nobody should be given free mandate without critical interrogation of the person’s profile and manifestoes that can be used to hold them accountable.

Chairman of CACOL, Mr. Debo Adeniran, while speaking at a press briefing on the state of the nation, noted that this year is most significant as a pre-election season and that citizens would be confronted with politically manipulated events, promises of Eldorado and scheming for control of political structures.

He said, “It is a year when all Nigerians, just like crabs, must be very vigilant with all eyes open; interrogate all situations to discern the real truth. It is a year when we have to take stock and re-arm ourselves on the developmental needs and maximization of the latent potentials of our great country.”

According to him, this year would test the strength of the citizens’ collective efforts in molding the country into a developmental nation.

“We are at the intersection of several cross-roads and we can only leap forward if we genuinely address the ailments afflicting us and take whatever bitter pill that may be necessary to get out of the present self-induced coma.”

He stated that body language, integrity and personal example as exemplary as they may seem is never enough to deter corruption adding, “The crusade must move to the next phase, it must become popular and owned by the entire nation. This is the way to make it a national heritage.

“In the coming week, CACOL would be embarking on anti-corruption tour round some notorious locations of failed social amenities in the country to sensitise the public and ginger the relevant government institutions into taking concrete actions.

“We are apt to warn that Nigerians may have to rise in waves of protests to be able to get any firm commitment on provision of social amenities and standardization of schools and health facilities because the ruling elite and the government have sold their souls to the neo-liberal policies that forbid the state from engaging in such endeavours.”

Adeniran said the country is heavily bedeviled with orgies of various forms of social violence and breach of security of lives and properties with the easiest commodities in the black market seem to be arms and ammunitions.

According to him, “Armed robbers and bandits have taken over most communities, from the intransigence of Niger-Delta militants to Biafra agitators to the enclave of Boko Haram in the North East and the marauding hordes of herdsmen, Nigeria is a theatre of war where lives have lost its humane values.

“Interestingly, the police and other security forces are also culpable. Nigerians have to cry out against various acts of violent misdemeanors by the police Special Ant-Robbery Squad (SARS). There are equally international outbursts against killings of innocent civilians by armed forces drafted into trouble spots.

“The hallmark of constitutional and democratic rule is to maintain public order without adverse effects on the rights of law-abiding citizens. Nigerian state and its operators must embrace this modicum of civilization.”

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