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Labour Angry with Politicians over Utterances

By on April 17, 2011

Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria (ASCSN) has cautioned politicians to guard against negative utterances in order not to further dent the country’s image abroad.

General Secretary of the union,  Solomon Onaghinon, who made this call weekend in Lagos, noted that both local and international observers, including the European Union (EU), have rated the National Assembly elections held on Saturday April 9, 2011 to be reasonably free, fair, credible, and transparent.

He maintained that “Nigerians who have always been unanimous in condemning previous elections rated the last poll to be reflective of the wishes of the electorate and scored the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) more than 75 per cent”.

Onaghinon expressed surprise that few unpatriotic politicians are trying to condemn the elections in areas where they lost and cautioned them against damaging the country’s image because of their personal greed.

“In addition, they have started criticising and condemning the other elections yet to be held arguing that grand plans have been put in place to rig in such elections. This is highly unpatriotic,” he said.

He stated that the undemocratic process of political party primaries needed to be improved upon so that candidates would no longer be imposed on the electorate who have become wiser and might decide to vote for other political parties in protest.

Onaghinon, who is also the Deputy President-General of the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC), also suggested that political party primaries should be held at least one year ahead of the general elections to enable the candidates present themselves to the electorate. He  pointed out that during the last National Assembly polls, most voters did not know the candidates.

“I say this because Nigerians now want to vote for individuals with credible antecedents and not political parties all of which virtually have similar ideologies and manifestoes if they have any at all,” he emphasised.

Onaghinon commended President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan for not interfering in the electoral process which made it easy for the INEC to operate without undue pressure. He also lauded the INEC leadership for its honesty of purpose and urged it to improve on its performance by addressing the lapses noticed during the April 9 polls.

Source : Thisday