The Deputy Vice Chancellor (Administration), Federal University, Oye-Ekiti, Prof Shola Omotola, has advised that the Independent National Electoral Commission should be unbundled for states to have independent electoral bodies that will accommodate their peculiarities.
He lamented that politicians were putting pressure on the judiciary in order to win elections at all cost, noting that poor polls would lead to a weak democracy which would impede progress and development.
The don spoke on Friday in Oye-Ekiti in his inaugural lecture titled, ‘The troubled trinity: Elections, democracy and development in Nigeria’, as part of activities marking the fifth and sixth combined convocation of FUOYE.
Omotola, a professor of comparative politics, explained that the weaknesses and contradictions in the nation’s democracy included centralised electoral umpire.
He added, “We claim to practice a federation, but all powers are virtually centralised to the detriment of the federating states. This makes the Independent National Electoral Commission the only body conducting elections for all the states.
Our democracy is still very weak and it is largely connected to the poor integrity and poor quality of our elections. Unless those weaknesses and contradictions are addressed, it is going to be extremely difficult for our elections to promote democracy and when democracy is not deep and strong, development is going to be faulty for years.”
He also bemoaned the increasing resort to the judiciary in election matters, saying, “There is multiplicity of election petitions before the judiciary, resulting in politics polluting the judiciary and this is leading to unwholesome attacks on judges.”