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(From Vanguard (Nigeria) - AAGM)
Byline: Darlington Eze
SPEAKING at a recent workshop in Abuja on civil society mobilisation towards 2007, organised by the U.S-based National Democratic Institute (NDI), the American Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. John Campbell, had reminded Nigerian political leaders that free and fair elections are a prerequisite for the respect a country earns in the comity of nations. According to Mr. Campbell, the ability to conduct free and fair elections is one of the biggest challenges Nigeria has to contend with if it has to be taken seriously in the comity of nations.
Jolted by the unmistakable message of the American Ambassador to Nigeria, the chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Maurice Iwu, reassured the international community of Nigeria's commitment to produce what he called "very credible, free and fair elections." The Professor did not stop there but also went a step further to stress: "one thing that adds cohesion and strength to a young nation is free and fair elections; free and fair elections are a fundamental element of democracy, and that free and fair elections are also the source of legitimacy for governments that act in the community's name."
One has gone this …