Equating Ghana’s polls with Nigeria’s is erroneous – Iwu

Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Chairman, Professor Maurice Iwu , yesterday faulted the conclusions of those drawing a parallel between the conduct of the 2007 general elections in the country and the recent Ghanaian presidential and parliamentary elections , saying the two country’s political environments were different.

According to him, the challenge of the environment of elections in Nigeria was far more demanding than that of Ghana and even the United Kingdom.

He spoke while delivering a lecture to mark the commencement of activities at The Electoral Institute (TEI), Oghara Centre, Delta State. The lecture was entitled, “The Electoral Institute and the Search for Democratic Consolidation and Economic Development in Nigeria.”

The INEC chairman said the disposition of the citizenry and political parties to elections in the two countries were not the same. He stated that “the key difference in the texture of the electoral process in Nigeria and the other countries whose elections are idolized by Nigerians” is the environment of the elections.

He said: “In Ghana which has just had its general election as Nigerian election observers found out, there were hardly police men around the polling areas. The streets were free and bereft of heavy security presence and artillery vehicles that are common sight during Nigerian elections. Why is it so?

“It is instructive that in Ghana and many other countries, electoral materials are collected overnight by electoral officers and taken home. There are no armoured police guiding the supply and safe keep of those materials.”

Iwu pointed out that the guiding principles and philosophy of political parties in the two countries were different. He advocated a drastic change in the orientation, mindset and general disposition of the citizens towards politics and elections in the Nigerian society adding that much was wrong and out of sync with the mentality and values of electoral democracy in contemporary Nigeria.

Source: This Day

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