The Developmental Initiatives, a Non-governmental Organisation has expressed concerns that the national economy is in a precarious state that cannot absorb any other socio-political shocks.
While acknowledging the efforts of the Federal Government to address gross infrastructural deficits, it laments that intractable cycles of economic recession compounded by the fallouts of Corona Virus necessitated economic crisis left the country with no other choice that to assure stable polity for required growth and development.
TDI decried incidences of violence and threat to peace, order, lives and properties looming over elections ahead in the year. It noted that the August 22, Local Government Councils elections in Ondo State which ought to be a litmus test to verify if Nigeria is making any progress in its strides to build democratic institutions failed woefully when compared against known global parameters.
The body observed that despite pass mark awarded by Governor Akeredolu to Ondo State Independent Electoral Commission ( ODSIEC ), there disturbing reports of elections management hiccups alleged by virtually all opposition parties, PDP, SDP, AAC, ZLP etc. The major grounds of complaints include security flaws, conducts of electoral officers, ballots filleting, intimidation of voters as well as naked manipulation of electoral processes by known political gladiators.
While it is true that the majority have their ways under democracy, the says of minority are equally well protected. TDI believes that some of the expressed dis-avowals and grievances of parties that loss out, ought to be guideposts for what INEC and relevant stakeholders should watch out for and eliminate in the elections later in the year.
In the same token, TDI opines that all parties in the 19th. September, Edo Governorship polls, the ruling APC government in Ondo State and the Federal Government should be conscious of their constitutional and historic responsibilities to ensure strict compliance to globally acceptable democratic tenets and principles. Thus, manifest adherence to INEC regulations is non- negotiable for the October, 22nd Gubernatorial elections in Ondo State.
INEC functions as an unbiased umpire requires the active support of both local and international civil electoral watchdogs. TDI shall be part of the civil election monitoring processes because a peaceful elections will ensure stable polity which is inevitable desideratum for sustainable growth and development.
We believe that both Edo and Ondo Governorship elections will showcase the institutional preparedness of Nigerians, INEC, and all stakeholders for 2023 general elections.
We call on law abiding citizens of Edo and Ondo States particularly youths and women to shurn violence as they troop out en- mass to peacefully exercise their democratic franchise rights.
The will of the people through regular, free and fair mandate re-negotiations by ballot voting is strategic for good governance, maintenance of law and order necessary for the development of any society. The elections in Edo/Ondo will be critical in the determination of the future welfare and well-being of the good people of the State.
It is therefore highly imperative to express preferences for governance without strife, rancour and violence. All votes counts and INEC owes onerous responsibilities to assure that the citizens repose confidence in the electoral processes.
” ELECTORAL WATCHDOGS SHALL BE ON GUARD “