By Onyedika Agbedo

To ensure that people of sound mind and with the interest of the masses at heart are elected into offices, the Ijaw monitoring group has called for the inclusion of psychiatric test as one of the conditions to be met by political office seekers in the country.

In a proposal sent to the electoral reform committee, the group noted that the emergence of non-performing leaders in the country was the cause of her underdeveloped status and suggested that a psychiatric test for persons seeking nomination into offices would help address the issue.

The group posited that 99 percent of political office holders in the country were handpicked into their positions, noting that such persons have turned into instruments of terror and oppression of the masses.

The proposal signed by the secretary of the group, Timi Igoli and the chief of staff to its coordinator, Andrew Elijah reads in part: “the Ijaw Monitoring group wishes to propose that any person wishing to be elected or appointed into any public office either at local, state or federal level must provide medical report of mental fitness from a psychiatrist. We make this proposal because we have discovered that majority of our political office holders are not of sound mind as evidenced in their level of insensitivity to the problems of the people they claim to represent”.

The group said the provision of the constitution, which empowers the electorate to recall their representatives for reasons bothering on non-performance had failed, arguing that it was better to get it right from the outset by ensuring that the representatives underwent psychiatrics tests.

“The provision of the constitution on recall is useless. It has not worked because you cannot recall someone you never elected but who was imposed on you. We are convinced that if psychiatric test were made compulsory before elections, majority of the representatives would not qualify. Electoral reforms without a clear-cut policy on how to check the soundness of would be leaders lead us into further calamity”, it said.


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