WorldStage Newsonline– A group, the Vanguard for Transparent Leadership and Democracy, has said there was no truth in the Independent National Electoral Commission’s recent claim that the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) strike could hamper preparation for the elections.
The group’s National President, Igbini Emmanuel, said this in a statement made available to journalists today.
He noted that the use of university teachers for electoral jobs is just a recent decision taken under former INEC chairman, Attahiru Jega.
He claimed that even elections superintended by the university teachers were still characterised by fraud.
He therefore faulted the proposed meeting between INEC and members of the striking ASUU over the conduct of the forthcoming general elections.
Emmanuel said there was no truth in the commission’s recent claim that the ASUU strike could hamper preparation for the elections.
The statement read, “Our attention has been drawn to recent media reports to the effect that the Independent National Electoral Commission has raised concern over the ongoing industrial action embarked by the Academic Staff Union of Universities and the effect it claims it will have on the 2019 general elections since INEC draws majority of its ad hoc Returning officers from the university.
“As a result, INEC proposed to meet with the leadership of ASUU to find a way of reaching an understanding for the striking university lecturers to assist INEC in the conduct of the forthcoming elections.
“We, therefore, want to state unequivocally that INEC does not need to rely on these university Vice Chancellors, lecturers, staff and students to conduct free, fair and credible general elections in Nigeria. INEC can indeed conduct such free, fair and credible elections without using Vice Chancellors, lecturers and staff of universities and other tertiary institutions.
“The alarm reportedly being raised by INEC over the ongoing strike action by ASUU is therefore unnecessary and uncalled for. We wish to remind INEC that it was only recently during Prof. Jega-led INEC that INEC decided to invite Vice Chancellors and lecturers from universities and tertiary institutions in the conduct of general elections with a view only to ensuring credible elections as a result of reports of massive malpractices by its staff and many other ad hoc staff recruited by INEC.
“It is pertinent to remind INEC and Nigerians that even with the use of Vice Chancellors, lecturers, staff, and students of universities and other tertiary institutions there are still reports of massive electoral malpractices in our general elections.
“Some of these staff of the universities have been reportedly caught in the act of aiding and abetting electoral malpractices.
“We have solution to offer INEC on how to conduct free, fair and very credible elections without using staff of tertiary Institutions.”