Melaye botched recall, good lessons for democracy – Activist

Idris Miliki, a Lokoja based Human Rights activist, has described the botched attempt to recall Senator Dino Melaye from the National Assembly as a “good development for democracy’’.
Miliki, who is the Executive Director, Centre for Human Rights and Conflict Resolution, disclosed this in a statement made available to newsmen on Tuesday in Lokoja.
He said that the recall process itself and the stage it got before the eventual failure also brought some lessons for democracy, rule of law and good governance in the country.
The activist said that the exercise brought high level enlightenment as it brought awareness to the electorate that they had the power to withdraw their mandate and recall their elected legislators if found wanting.
The exercise, according to him, also enlightened the citizenry in the procedures and processes to ensure such recall should the need arises rather than fall into the pitfalls of the failed attempt.
Miliki also cautioned the Independent National Electoral Commission, Security Agencies and Civil Society Organisations, to always conduct mapping of electoral violence flashpoints before going into such exercises.
He said that when such mappings were done and adequate measures taken, the kind of violence witnessed in Mopa-Muro LGA during the verification exercise would be avoided.
Miliki urged INEC to ensure that all party agents in their future events wore their name tags and possibly, with pictures.
The activist also admonished the Civil Society groups to take such exercises seriously and make themselves available.
He regretted that for an exercise that cut across seven local government areas of the state, not up to 50 civil society observers participated.