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Dickson worried over embarrassing image of academia in elections

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[FILES] Seriake Dickson

The senator representing Bayelsa West, Seriake Dickson, has expressed concern over the embarrassing image of the academia in the conduct of Nigerian elections.

While making a comment at the screening of President Muhammadu Buhari’s nominee for National Electoral Commissioner, Prof. Muhammad Sani Kallah (Katsina), Dickson said the academia has not lived up to the expectation of Nigerians.

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According to him, “This is an institution that is in need of integrity. People want to see integrity in leadership, fairness, justice, rule of law and loyalty to the country above loyalty to party or to anybody who has appointed or recommended you.

“I drew the attention of your colleagues to many of the sad cases, and equally disturbing, of people from the academia not living up to the high expectation of Nigerians in the conduct of elections whether they are substantive appointees of Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) or staff or ad-hoc officials.”

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Kallah, however, pointed an accusing finger at the judiciary. He said a situation where the judiciary entertains electoral cases and sometimes overturns elections and declares winners breeds corruption.

Responding specifically to Senator Ekweremadu’s question on electronic voting, he said: “There is something I have not seen people talk about. Our major problem is the judiciary. We can include it in our law that where there is any problem with an election, the court should not declare anybody winner. They should go back and redo the election; no matter how much it will cost because courts declaring people winners has brought a lot of corruption into the system.”

He added: “That is why we are also facing security problems. When the judiciary fails, you can’t get it right on any policy of governance. These are fundamental things we have to look at.”

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