Akinmurele Calls for Mass Participation in House of Assembly Election, Urges more Transparency, Accountability in INEC
In a statement released to the press, John Akinmurele, a Diaspora Nigerian who hails from Ondo State, has expressed his concerns about the recent conduct of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in our country and also urges Ondo State citizens to participate actively in the House of Assembly election.
Akinmurele commended the Federal Government and INEC for the introduction of the Biometric Voter Accreditation System (BVAS), which is a major step towards eliminating election rigging. With the BVAS, registered voters were accredited using their fingerprints and/or facial features before they were allowed to vote. He said, “Once a registered voter is accredited, it’s digitally reflected on INEC’s central database, purportedly making it easy for the electoral body to track the number of actual votes in a polling unit. If the number of votes from a unit is more than the number of accredited voters, then overvoting had occurred, and the result would be invalidated by the Commission. This assertion, however, appeared jettisoned in some parts of the country during the just concluded presidential and national elections conducted on the 25th February 2023 for some reasons that are not yet provided by INEC.”
“Meanwhile, of utmost importance is the sacrosanct need for transparency in the exercise. The hullabaloo that trailed the conduct of the presidential and national elections were needless and avoidable. The Commission now seems to be battling with credibility issues, especially among the opposition parties. Accountability and transparency would have prevented this,” he continued.
He further appeals to INEC to institutionalize a transparency framework that is not dependent on the chairman, top management, or individuals. Akinmurele strongly posited that the institution itself should be synonymous with transparency and accountability. He believes that such measures are necessary for INEC to maintain its status as the pillar of democracy in the country.
He then admonished voters to come out en masse to exercise their voting right in the forthcoming House of Assembly Election in the State. In his words, “I share in your sentiment against some successive political leaders in the state, about dashed hopes, expectations and poor delivery. That notwithstanding, every election exercise is an opportunity to attempt heralding a better government. Therefore, I want to appeal that we all participate massively in the elections, organize our respective polling units and wards, and reject vote buying. This is the time to vote for peace, competency, transparency, development, and participatory democracy.”
He could not hide his passion for Ondo State and its people, saying that the peace and prosperity of the State is of great concern to him.
Akinmurele believes that as the world becomes more interconnected, the electoral system should match international standards by embracing new technologies and ensuring that the process is as transparent as possible. He emphasizes that this will not only build trust in the electoral process but also deepen democracy in Nigeria.