A chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Cross River State, Chief Sam Bassey, has attributed the frequent resort to election tribunals and courts to poor electoral process.He told newsmen in Calabar yesterday: “Let us run a free and fair election without any manipulation. People should be allowed to express their will freely through the ballot box.
“In advanced countries where we learnt our democracy, you do not hear of tribunal and court. If we run a transparent system where someone loses transparently, I don’t think anybody will bother to go to court; but we have characters in this country who never believe that anything should be done straight.
“So, for our democracy to grow, we should have men and women of integrity in the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). When recruiting its field officers, INEC should be very careful because there are so many characters around and the only language they understand is naira and kobo. With money, card-reader will stop working and they will bring incident form and start thumb-printing. Once that is curtailed, we are on the move.”The APC stalwart praised former President Goodluck Jonathan for conducting a fairly credible election in 2015.
“Jonathan, with due respect, set a good example in 2015 despite the advice of his aides. We will get there; it is a gradual process. It is strange that a president lost election in Nigeria and picked his phone and called his opponent and congratulated him. But it happened in 2015,” he noted.
On corrupt politicians who want to win at all costs, Bassey said: “The future of our democracy is bright. In future, the system will throw them out the way it threw them up. We are bound to make our mistakes, but we will survive it.”He assured that APC would conduct a better election in 2019, even as some die-hards will insist on going to the tribunal.