9th July, 2010
The Coalition for a New Nigeria (CNN) in Abuja on Thursday called on the new INEC Chairman, Dr. Attahiru Jega, to work toward achieving equal representation of political parties in the electoral process.
Chief Charles Nwodo, Chairman of the coalition, said at a news briefing that it was the only way to ensure free and fair elections.
â€œINEC should call all parties for an interactive meeting before the parties draw up their time tables so that they will agree on the process of representation.
â€œAll parties should be carried along in the electoral process from the voter registration to the polling booths,” he added.
He alleged that most of the state commissioners of INEC were PDP members, adding that the development would not augur well for a transparent election.
Nwodo further called on the House of Representatives and the Senate to publish the amended constitution in all dailies in order for every Nigerian to be enlightened.
He added that local government elections had become an avenue for state governors to manipulate the process and urged Jega to ensure that local government elections were made transparent.
â€œLocal government elections have been converted to pocket activities of governors. So, we urge well meaning politicians, National Assembly and INEC to put measures that will curb the situation.
â€œLocal government is the only government that is closer to the grassroots. This a vital area of government that demands transparency,â€ he added.
Nwodo argued that the proposed bill to deregister parties that did not meet with the requirements to win a seat in the legislature was not a standardised procedure.
â€œWhat they should have proposed is that any party without a specific requirement cannot contest at a particular level of governance.
â€œThe party with a particular requirement can contest at a particular level. That is how it should be done. Not to deregister a party totally,â€ he said.
The chairman said the need for a coalition arose as a result of the unfair representation of other parties at all level of government, adding that they would support each member party to achieve success in 2011.
â€œThis is a coalition of parties with like minds. We did it before in 2006 and we succeeded.