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‘Election in Nigeria provides incentive for conflict’

The chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Mahmood
Yakubu, has warned that elections in the country have become incentive for conflicts and underdevelopment of the country.
INEC chairman stated this as the guest of honour at the Nigerian Political Science Association (NPSA) annual conference with the theme: “Election, security and development” held at the University of Port Harcourt yesterday.
Represented by Professor Antonia Simbine, a national commissioner in INEC, he explained that situations where unnecessary elections have had to be repeated, does not augur for saving for the purposes of socio-economic welfare improvement.

According to him, it will be agreed generally that election is adversarial in nature, even though it is central to giving meaning to democracy, however, human capital is diminished and development of the country is affected whenever the commission is subjected to a situation whereby it has to repeat an election.
Yakubu explained that on the flip side of the coin, elections could be conflict mitigation and conflict management mechanism that enhances opportunities by creating increased access to development.
“Elections empower ordinary citizens to choose among contestants for political offices, encourage participation in governance and make it possible to demand accountability from those who govern.
If the choice of the electorate win elections, they will feel more compelled and responsible to those who voted them into office, but where this is not the case, those elected will have no responsibility towards those whom they are supposed to serve” he said.
The NPSA has warned that the country risk being a one party state in the absence of effective opposition party especially with the post election lost crises rocking the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).

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