Iwu: We Should Not Have Held Elections

DESPITE the hail of criticisms of the conduct of last April’s elections, the chief electoral umpire won’t stop defending the exercise.

Prof. Maurice Iwu, the INEC Chairman, said yesterday that the environment was not conducive for the conduct of any democratic election.

The commission, according to Iwu, told the government of the “adverse” environment. He did not, however, state why INEC went ahead to conduct elections that were described as “deeply flawed” at home and abroad.

Besides, he did not state the government’s response to the commission’s complaint.

Iwu was delivering a paper in Bauchi at the fourth All Nigeria Editors Conference of the Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE) entitled: “Assessment of the Nigerian Media and Elections”.

The INEC chief blamed it all on the media, saying they failed to amplify the prevailing adverse environment in which the elections were held.

“The environment in which the 2007 general elections were conducted was not the best any democratic election could have been conducted in,” he said.

Iwu believed the media failed to monitor the following:

•influence of money in politics;

•willful abuse of power and rules by individuals elected into public offices; and

•manipulation of the political class.

He said: “The outcome of every election reflects the very environment and prevailing dispositions in which the election was conducted”.

The commission, he said, “severally made the point also that the political parties as they exist in the society today can only bequeath grief to the political process”.

He said the media, despite recognising the existence of the problems, did not tackle such serious shortcomings with any commitment and vigour.

“The direct result of this neglect as far as the 2007 general election was concerned is that many things happened which ought not to have,” he said. He however refused comments on such wrong things.

Iwu blamed the media for missing the real undercurrent of the high temperature of the period leading to the 2007 elections and also refused to apportion blame on the entities responsible for the hitches identified in the polls.

He said despite the odds, the commission conducted the most free, fair and successful elections, transiting from one civilian to civilian regime as against using excuses to postpone the exercise. He had earlier scored the commission 80 per cent, amidst protests by observers that the polls were fraudulent.

His words: “The most confounding aspect of the assessment and analyses in the media about the 2007 general elections, both before and after the polls, is the consistent refusal by many to place the entire process in context.”

Iwu said despite the shortcomings in the reportage of the elections, “the Nigerian media remains its vibrant and patriotic self but needs to be more profound in its interpretation of issues”.

Mrs Oluremi Oyo, the chairman of the session and Managing Director of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) applauded the courage of INEC in conducting the 2007 general elections in despite the odds.

More than 250 editors are attending the three-day conference opened by Bauchi State governor, Malam Isa Yuguda.

– The Nation 

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3 responses to “Iwu: We Should Not Have Held Elections

  1. Nigeria is indeed a wonderful place. A place where you can be allowed to commit ultimate blunders and then turn back to blame everybody but yourself for your own failure. So Iwu now knows that the atmosphere was not conducive? This revisionism at it’s “sickest” worst. He talks as if we were not living witnesses of his blunders as INEC Chairman who supervised the most discredited national elections in the history of elections in Nigeria?. In case he is sufffering from amnesia the rest of us are not. When the going was good and Iwu was enjoying his position as a Commander in Chief of Elections under the Garrison Democracy of Obasanjo did we ever hear him utter one word about the fact that the atmosphere was not conducive for elections? Did he ever offer to resign from a position that was not conducive? If Iwu keeps up with his revisionism some of us may be forced to write books on the 2007 elections just so that one day so many years away his lopsided analysis of what we all know may not be the only thing on record. INEC under Iwu functioned more or less like a department of the ruling party P.D.P. Anything the Obasanjo wing of the PDP wanted was okay no matter what the law says. PDP wanted Araraume and Amaechi dropped and it was yes sir yes sir three bags full. INEC conviniently forget the section of the act that asked for verifiable reasons? PDP wanted Atiku and almost all the candidates of A.C nationwide banned and it was no problem sir. Despite the clear provsions of the laws that INEC could ban no one. The fact that INEC went on appeal after a court had declared that it ahd no power to disqualify is enough to show it’s partisanship on the side of PDP. An what does Iwu have to say of the way they bungled the voter registration exercise? Where was the electronic voting that would eliminate rigging which he promised us? All that pontiication about free and failr election if it is the last thing I do? Iwu must be told that no student who sits for an examination is ever allowed to score himself. In this case Iwu is the student and we the Nigerians are the teachers who set the examinations and we say he failed and so it is. Public Service is not about what you percieve that you have done but what the general public percieves that you have done whilst in office. What Iwu is now doing is running helter skelter to save his job and we are afraid that it would not work. Even the President accepted at his inauguration that the election was flawed. The International and Local observers said the same. The recent sordid revelations at the proceedings at the various election petition tribunals nationwide are begiining to confirm what we already know – that the April 2007 elections were a fraud. Between Iwu and Obasanjo they have put President Yaradua in a very tight situation where he has to first of all battle the illegitimacy of his election to power before he can begin to think of working for the masses. If Iwu and Obasanjo had not been over enthusiastic of giving PDP an unmerited landslide electoral victory Yaradua MAY well still have won the election, but definately not with the fake landlside they awrded him. It was clear before the elections that the other parties were poised to give PDP a fight for their money and if the elections were allowed to go on freely, they would have made better showing in many states and legislative elections and Nigeria would have had a legitimate and more stable government. Iwu must go no matter how many fora he attends in an attempt to re-write history. That is the minimum to appease Nigerians for the anger they feel over the last general elections.

  2. Prof. Maurice Iwu seems to get more unserious at the passing of each day.
    Iwu largely contributed to the adverse conditions he is now claiming that the elections were held. Rather than conduct an election, he was busy disqualifying candidates. What was his business with that? He went ahead and coined the phrase “CONSTITUTIONALLY BARRED” and at the end of the day he used taxpayers money and created so much mess that is now taking taxpayers money to be cleaned up.

    This unserious character needs to be “CONSTITUTIONALLY BARRED” from conducting any elections in Nigeria.

  3. I seems to me that IWU needs special medical attention. He has been talking like somebody that is confused.
    The only option for him is to repent and ask God for forgiveness.
    May God forgive him for allowing himself to be used negatively by OBJ.

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