Osun Election: Security Ensured A Free And Fair Election, Says Lawyer
A lawyer, Kenneth Odidika, has praised the Federal Government of Nigeria for putting in place security that went a long way in ensuring the success of the election in Osun state.
Odidika, who was on Channels Television’s programme, Sunrise Daily, was full of praise for President Goodluck Jonathan for putting in place a system of security which ensured that people felt free to cast their votes without any fear of been molested.
He emphasised the need for security in an electoral process and wondered why people do not appreciate the presence of military personnel during election.
”It is quite unfortunate that people don’t seem to appreciate the fact that without security we can never have the free and fair election we are talking about,” he said, apparently referring to the All Progressives Congress (APC).
He insisted that APC members that always complained about ‘over -militarisation’ in elections were usually the beneficiaries of the process and dismissed their complaints as sheer propaganda.
”In the Nigerian context, there is no such thing as over-militarisation as long as the process is peaceful wherein people feel free to vote without fear of molestation and APC is enjoying it.”
While supporting the use of a large contingent of military personnel in the 2015 general election amidst fears that there are probably not enough security forces to deploy for the election across board, Mr Odidika stressed that if Nigerians were peaceful in every election and do not cause chaos, there might not be need for a large deployment of military and police in 2015 election.
”We know there is no way we can have a large personnel of security forces to be deployed across the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory for the 2015 general elections. So I advise Nigerians to be peaceful in their conduct and if we do, then we don not need soldiers to help us conduct a free and fair election,” he said.
On the reported arrest of some APC chieftains in Osun by the military personnel, Mr Odinaka said there was probably something that was done by the chieftains, but said that “if they feel undone, then they should seek redress in the court”.
He was of the view that the Independent National Electoral Commission had improved on previous election with the conduct of the electoral process in Osun and was optimistic that they would improve more in the 2015 general elections.
Mr Odidika, while accepting the fact that the opposition parties had a right to complain if they feel that an electoral process was being manipulated and if they feel that their vote could be subverted, said their complaints shouldn’t incite their supporters into violent acts.
”Of course they will complain and shout if they feel their votes are been subverted but their shout shouldn’t be such that can cause violence and endangering people’s lives”.
He advised politicians to do an issue based campaign prior to an election instead of the act of name calling that is usual with campaigns in Nigeria
Mr Odidika commended President Jonathan for swiftly congratulating Governor Aregbesola for winning the election in Osun State.