By: Mayen Etim
KADUNA, North-West, Nigeria – Kaduna State Governor, Malam Nasir El-Rufai, and State Assembly members-elect on Thursday received their certificates of return from the state headquarters of Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
The National Commissioner for Niger, Kaduna and Plateau states, Professor Anthonia Taiye Okoosi-Simbine presented the certificate of return to Governor El-Rufai
Speaking during the presentation, Prof. Simbine noted that pathetic crisis of lack of internal democracy in the parties and the desperation of candidates and their supporters driven by the fear of losing all tend to compound the problem.
She cautioned that candidates and supporters should not resort to self-help by taking the path of violence to undermine the virtues of democracy elections which according to her include choice in absolute freedom and peace.
Prof. Simbine further explained that the 2019 elections marked a new trend in which some parties and candidates engaged in violent behaviour, including manhandling election duty officials and intimidation of voters, collation and Returning Officers.
“The Commission views this trend with grave concerns and will continue to work on greater voter enlightenment for mandate protection as well as with the security agencies to curtail this ugly trend”, she said.
She advised that disgruntled persons and parties should feel free to seek judicial remedy where they believe they have genuine case(s) to pursue.
“Indeed, seeking judicial remedy is not only a part and parcel of the electoral process in Nigeria, it is consistent with the culture of democracy as opposed to resorting to self-help”.
The National Commissioner who congratulated the elected state Assembly members, including those who are returning, urged that they should provide the necessary oversight of the executive and put the state in a good stead to deliver the benefits of democracy.
The colourful ceremony attracted party supporters and faithfuls of the governor to the venue.
Dignitaries spotted includes: APC Kaduna State 2019 campaign Director General, Mr. Ben Kure and Speaker, Kaduna State House of Assembly, Rt. Honourable Aminu Shagali.