Member representing Epe Constituency II in the Lagos State House of Assembly, Hon. Segun Olulade has blamed the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and stakeholders in Rivers State for the lingering electoral violence which has left the electoral process in a comatose.
Olulade said the crisis that has engulfed the state is a sign that INEC under the new Chairman on one hand has showed incapability of the commission to conduct free and fair elections following the Bayelsa and Kogi debacles.
He also noted that party men in Rivers State on the other hand have demonstrated lack of political maturity, fair play and genuine concern for Rivers people who are usually at the receiving end in the long run.
The lawmaker explained that the idea of preparing for election like war is unfortunate for the nation’s democracy, just as he pointed out that Rivers people are the innocent victims in this circumstance considering the number of lives lost and properties destroyed in the process.
While noting that other states have started enjoying governance, Olulade lamented that the people of Rivers State still suffer from the ego of major actors in the contest.
“I suggest that the Federal Government through the National Orientation Agency and INEC should review voters’ education to ensure the electorates do not allow themselves to become constant tools of violence during elections.
“I also appeal to President Muhammadu Buhari to consider mop-up of arms and ammunitions currently domiciled in the entire Niger-Delta areas, which was caused by illegal arms deals and activities of the militants in the area”, Olulade said.
He also appealed to all warring factions to consider innocent residents and indigenes of the state that are dying each time there is crisis in the state, “and they should prove to the masses that they are not only vying for their selfish interests by eschewing peace in the State.
The current development in Rivers State is a setback to Nigeria’s democracy as it has continued to portray the nation’s democracy in bad light before the entire world. The era of do-or-die politics should be forgone and that decisions of electorates should be allowed to prevail. That is true democracy,” Olulade added.