Human rights activist and former Chairman of Nigeria’s National Human Rights Commission, Prof. Chidi Odinkalu has described the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, as the most corrupt federal government agency in Nigeria.
Prof. Odinkalu, who is recently the senior team manager for the Africa Program of Open Society Justice Initiative, claimed that everybody in INEC, from the Chairman to the cleaners, is corrupt.
Speaking in Abuja on Friday at the Colloquium organised by Fundacion Exito with the theme, Nigeria in 2023: What does Nigeria need now? The Professor noted that Nigeria’s electoral umpire is more corrupt than the Nigeria Police.
He said that for Nigeria to get it right, the electoral umpire and the judiciary must attend a certain height to perfection as the country goes into the presidential election next weekend.
“Everybody in INEC from the Chairman to the cleaners are corrupt,” he said.
“INEC is more corrupt than the police. The difference is that their corruption is seasonal. It is programmed. It happens every four years when they collect big money.”
Also addressing journalists one of the Directors of the civil society organisation, Dominic Obuzuwa said Nigerians must elect a leader whose focus should be on global competitiveness as a strategy for development.
According to him, “The citizens are not focusing on the right issues. It’s not about the North and South. Our competition as a nation is not about North and South, it’s not about Christian or Muslim.
“It’s not about political parties. It’s about the fact that we need to be globally competitive. As a country, can Nigeria stand toe to toe with Malaysia in terms of economic development? Can Nigeria stand toe to toe with the United Arab Emirates in terms of economic development?
“Now these are countries that have benefited from Nigeria at one point or the other. But we find that over the years the political class has created a narrative that has turned one citizen against another so that they can perpetuate themselves into office.
“This creates several issues, the fuel scarcity, for instance, is man-made. The scarcity of the Naira presently is man-made. The problems that bedevil the country are man-made.
“When Nigerians go to the polls, they must not vote because they’re from the South or North, because they’re APC or PDP, Christian or Muslim but because they’re Nigerians who want a better country in four years’ time.
“They must look at the character, competency and credibility of candidates. There are issues of inclusion and development and not about the state of origin, religion, region, tribe etc. It’s about the next four years.”
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