By Sunny A. Ijomah
Few weeks to the commencement of the general elections, the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Delta State Council, has frowned at the absence of a Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in Delta State, warning that the people of the state will not accept any ad-hoc situation that will truncate credible elections.
The Chairman of the NUJ, Delta State Council, Comrade Michael Ikeogwu, sounded the warning when the Transition Monitoring Group (TMG), Delta State Chapter, led by the State Coordinator, Mr Raymond Omorodion, paid the Council a courtesy visit in Asaba.
Comrade Ikeogwu regretted that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) was not treating the issue of absence of REC and a substantive Administrative Secretary in the state with the seriousness they deserved, and called for an immediate deployment of the officers to the state.
He bemoaned the lack of visible activities in the INEC office in the state a few weeks to the Presidential and National Assembly Elections, saying that some of the pre-election activities such as voter education, distribution of Permanent Voters Cards (PVCs), and relocation of unit/ward venues without creating adequate awareness was capable of causing low participation of eligible voters in the electoral process.
The Delta NUJ chairman reiterated the need for INEC in the state to put in place the necessary arrangements to foster free, fair and transparent processes that would bring about credible and acceptable elections in Delta State.
Comrade Ikeogu assured the Transition Monitoring Group (TMG) of a cordial working relationship towards entrenching credible elections in Nigeria.
Earlier, the Coordinator of the TMG, Delta State Chapter, Mr. Raymond Omorodion, who spoke through his deputy, Pastor Edewor Egedegbe, harped on the need to institute credible elections to guarantee people-oriented governance.
He stated that his organization had concluded arrangement to enter into a charter with all political parties and their candidates in the state with a view to binding them with the wishes of the people in project execution. He noted that although such a charter had no legal implication, it would be a moral burden on the political parties and their candidates.
According to him, the TMG would restrict the charter to the governorship race for 2019 and would use what the parties and their candidates would say to monitor and gauge their performance index.