Monday, June 4, 2007

Nigeria: Electoral Malpractice - Legogie Canvasses Holistic Approach

FORMER Deputy Senate President in the aborted Third Republic, Senator Albert Legogie has canvassed a holistic approach to the reform of the country's electoral system as a panacea to the problems of electoral malpractice in the country.

Speaking with Vanguard on Tuesday shortly after the inauguration of Prof. Oserheimen Osunbor as the governor of Edo State, he said that Nigerians must put their hands on deck by collectively resolving that a far reaching decision must be taken by the government as far as electoral reforms was concerned.

His words, "the problems of election malpractice in Nigeria which has become endemic cannot be blamed on one party, that is, the PDP alone. It is a fundamental problem which all Nigerians must solve and they must put their hands on deck to collectively resolve through instigation of far reaching electoral reforms".

"It will amount to trivializing the issue if we continue to blame the PDP alone for the electoral malpractice perpetrated during the elections as evidence abound that most if not all the political parties committed large scale electoral malpractices in their various areas of strengths and this is responsible for the reason why political powers rarely change hands in the country".

"Added to the above is the "shortcut syndrome which is now affecting this country and which is now responsible for the highest level of criminality including electoral and examination malpractice, fraud in work places, armed robbery, assassinations amongst others. This is a dilemma which should be a source of worry and concern to all lovers of this country".

Appealing to all aggrieved persons and losers in the just concluded elections to follow the due process of taking their cases to the election petition tribunals for resolution, Senator Legogie stated that insisting on strikes or protests would further do an incalculable harm to the image of the country.

He appealed to opposition political parties and aggrieved Nigerians to bury the hatchet and give the administration of President Umaru Yar'Adua a chance to resolve the multifarious problems facing the country.

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