Group says INEC doesn’t need ASUU for credible polls.
Vanguard for Transparent Leadership and Democracy has said that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) does not need the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) to conduct credible elections.
It faulted the proposed meeting between INEC and ASUU members on strike over the conduct of the general elections.
The national president, Igbini Emmanuel, in a statement yesterday, maintained that there was no truth in the commission’s recent claim that the ASUU strike could hamper preparation for the elections.
Maintaining that INEC could conduct a credible election without the use of vice-chancellors, lecturers and staff of tertiary educational institutions, he added: “Some of these staff of the universities have been reportedly caught in the act of aiding and abetting electoral malpractices.”
He noted that the use of university teachers for electoral jobs was a decision taken under former INEC chairman, Attahiru Jega.
The statement read in part: “Our attention has been drawn to recent media reports to the effect that INEC has raised concern over the ongoing industrial action embarked on by ASUU 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 universities.
“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 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 tertiary institutions.
“The alarm reportedly being raised by INEC over the ongoing strike by ASUU is therefore unnecessary and uncalled for. We wish to remind INEC that it was only recently, during Prof. Jega-led INEC, that the commission decided to invite vice chancellors and lecturers from 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 it recruited.
“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.
“We have a solution to offer INEC on how to conduct free, fair and very credible elections without using staff of tertiary institutions.”