The PRP Candidate, House of Representatives, Ifako Ijaiye, Lagos in the just concluded election, Odunewu Lawal Rilwan Ayoola (LRA), has called on the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Mahmoud Yakubu, to shape up or ship out before the governorship and house of Assembly elections in the country as rescheduled.
He made this statement while reacting to the developments trailing the conduct of the recent Presidential elections in the country. According to him, the electoral body has performed way below expectation.
” Considering the huge-budget allocation of N355 billion for the 2023 elections, affirmative promises by INEC that it would not shift any aspect of the 2023 elections and INEC rescheduling of the state election due to the controversy around BVAS following the 25 February federal elections, the INEC Chairman should shape up or ship out before the reschudled governorship election.
“SBM Intelligence estimated the cost of the election postponement to be $2.23 billion. This is well over 2% of the country’s $420 billion Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
“Factor in the inflation and the variance in the value of the Nigerian naira in 2019 and 2023, its no brainer that the postponment will come at heavy economic and social cost for the country because of flaws of management and leadership.
The former National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Scandinavia and Secretary, Committee of Diaspora Chairmen (CDC) noted that although it was encouraging that the commission approached the court early regarding BVA reconfiguration.
“This timely approach of court by the commission to seek BVAS reconfiguration approval helped reduce time frame for postponment and the social and economical cost to the nation`s economy.
“Nigerians have gone through a lot recently. A smooth and transparent election is the least they deserve and an election postponement was the last thing Nigerians in a distressed economy need.
“The postposnment might be justifiable, but the costs, may be paid in a fraught and delicate democratic transition.
“President Buhari’s desire for a credible election is not debatable, and all hope is not lost as there is still a windows of opportunity to act decisively on what legacy he wants regarding electioneering in Nigeria.
“As politcians are deploying ethnic and bigotry campaign strategies in the forthcoming gubernatorial and house of Assembly elections, brewing ethnic tensions towards election, especially in Lagos, I call on all Nigerians in Lagos, a cosmoplitan city-state, to reject and discard such strategy been-deployed by politicians for selfish influence and power.
“We celebrated a Nigerian-British born, UK ex-Minister for Equalities, Kemi Badenoch, when she declared interest to become the prime minister of the United Kingdom, but politicians back home are deploying ethnic and bigotry cards. We need to start acting what we preach.
“Let`s make the Governorship and House of Assembly elections the most peaceful election ever conducted in Nigeria and vote wisely”, he stated.