TMG tasks INEC on credible FCT Area Councils Poll


The Transition Monitoring Group (TMG) has charged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to ensure that the Saturday’s Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Area Councils Poll is free, fair and credible.
Mr Auwal Rafsanjani, the Chairman, Transition Monitoring Group (TMG) said this in statement in Abuja.
According Rafsanjani, the area council is very crucial and integral components of democracy.
“As the third tier of government, it is the closest government to the people and is positioned to affect directly the day-to-day activities of citizens thereby reinforcing the centrality of the councils to the welfare and well-being of Nigerians.
“Disturbingly, council elections have always left much to be desired in the heart of Nigerians.
“Elections at the local government levels have largely been a charade, with the outcomes leaving electorate and observers perplexed.
“This much has contributed to a huge level of voters’ apathy in council election with Nigerians not matching the same enthusiasm of the federal and state election with the council election,” he said.
Rafsanjani said that TMG was worried about rising cases of non-credible council poll in Nigeria as well as the level of voter apathy demonstrated by the Nigerian electorate across the country.
He said, however, that TMG was confident that the FCT area council election would represent a sharp departure from the norm by setting a standard for subsequent local level elections in Nigeria.
This, he said, was especially as it was being overseen directly by INEC.

He urged FCT residents across the six Area Councils to come out in large number to participate in the election.
Rafsanjani said that it was imperative for residents to understand that non-participation in the electoral process would give ample opportunity to those with ulterior motives to hijack the process.
He said this would eventually lead to imposition of unpopular candidates as winners of the election.
“ Citizens must also understand that any form of failure to participate in the voting process will also represent a direct contribution to poor local council governance as has been seen all over the country.
“Elections are democratic channels for citizens to choose credible leaders; hence, TMG is reminding the FCT residents of their civic duty to elect credible leaders at the Area Councils Election,” he said.
Rafsanjani said that a participatory election would not only produce popular leaders but also give the electorate the powers to hold and demand accountability from elected leaders.
He also urged INEC to ensure that modalities were put in place at all the polling units to ensure that the poll was hitch free.
Rafsanjani urged politicians to play the game by the rules without undermining the electoral process.
He also urged security agencies to be alert to their responsibility of ensuring peaceful conduct of the election across the six FCT area councils.



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