A former acting governor of Kogi state, Abdullahi Bello, has declared that Nigeria’s electoral system needs amendment.
Bello said that the country has again returned to the era of forceful election – The ex-acting governor noted that the country would lose all the gains from electoral reform between 2007 to 2015. The former acting governor of Kogi state and ex-speaker of the state, Abdullahi Bello said, Nigeria’s electoral system must be addressed to accommodate new emerging scenarios. Nigerian Tribune reports that he said the country has witnessed situations where there are judicial governors instead of electoral governors who according to him should be the most ideal and acceptable as provided by the 1999 constitution. CableNews gathered that Bello stressed that the country would lose all the gains from electoral reform between 2007 to 2015, if indeed they have been lost.
“In 1999, the election process in Nigeria was brutal, and the outcome for the strongest. Winners emerged all over the country not because of decent campaigns, and peaceful voting and excellent overseeing conduct on the side of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC),” he said.
He said the 1999 election symbolised war in another form, adding that by the next election cycle, which was in 2003, those who were beneficiaries of the previous election increased their efforts towards self-sustenance in office. Bello said that the introduction of electoral reforms during the 2011 elections did give hope to Nigerians, lamenting that the country is now back to 1999 with its much consequence with pains. He said the judicial decisions now prevail, saying that, “our elected officials instead of the voters. ‘Kill your opponents and bribe the courts to sustain you’ became the norm. “We have returned to forceful elections again. How did we get here once more? What caused the sad reversal? We need constitutional reforms, which must be geared towards the followings: the winners of elections must come to court with the burden of having to prove that, indeed, he won decently based on the provisions of our law.
“Let’s make it explicitly clear that electoral victory can only become valid through the ballot, and where any abuse did occur during the cause of the polls, the contestants must return back to face the electorate. The failure of the highest court in the land to uphold the gains of 2011, when it rejected the concept of ‘Card Reader’, especially in the case of Governor Nyesom Wike, created the huge loss on our efforts towards a better election and thus emboldened the political actors to unleash their excessive and destructive energy in all the elections that followed the 2015 general election till now,” he said.
Credit: Nigerian Tribune.
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