A certified (Chartered) Public Accountant and a three time National Conscience Party governorship candidate in Ogun State, Ogbeni Lanre Banjo, has commended Nigerians for coming out to vote for their candidates in last Saturday election and he also praised the media for discharging its duties.
Banjo stated this in a statement issued to The Eagle Online on Sunday where he also acknowledged INEC for making the process a commendable one and stressed that the body still has a lot to do to improve in future elections.
He stated: “However, until we conduct elections without incident of late materials despite postponement, misleading voters register and loss of a single life, Nigeria would not be respected by the civilized world and we would continue to dwarf our status in the comity of nations. INEC must evaluate the basis for late delivery of materials to the polling units and if ineptitude or sabotages are detected, those responsible must be removed to set the tone that such a misdeed is frowned at. This has been going on since 1999, and it must stop.”
He further condemned the spate of violence that was associated with the polls particularly in Okota, Lagos, where thugs overwhelmed security agencies to disrupt the electoral process stressing that security operatives should be well equipped in their respective stations so that they can carry their work effectively.
Banjo stated: “Ogbeni Banjo watched the video of the despicable incident at a Polling Unit in Okota, Lagos where the Police struggled with hoodlums helplessly. Uniform alone does not make a Police a law enforcement agent. Apart from the badge and uniform, a policeman is useless without his tools such as teargas, clubs, handcuff, headgear etc. At the minimum, Law enforcement officers manning polling booths must be equipped with handcuff, teargas and headgear. The civilized world would be laughing at us where we have disarmed police officers in the polling booth who cannot effectively discharge their duties. What is their purpose? With handcuff, the hoodlums would have been arrested, quickly removed, later investigated with their principals arrested and there would have been no need to set anyone on fire. Each police man should have more than one handcuff. The police should also be required to immediately call for backup in case the hoodlums come back for reprisal. The lives of these police and voters are not safe. We need to do all humanly possible to encourage people to vote. In Nigeria, it is possible that the principal of the hoodlums may be influential enough to frustrate backup from being sent to the location from where the distressed call is made, laws or administrative ordinance must be in place to discourage such occurrence and discipline any erring police officers.”
He also commiserated with the family members of those who lost their lives due to electoral violence.