International Democracy Day: Tambuwal urges NASS to conclude amendments to Electoral Act

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Sokoto State Governor, Aminu Tambuwal, has called on the National Assembly to conclude the “long overdue” amendments to the Electoral Act, to make it impossible to rig and manipulate future elections in the country.

Tambuwal said this in a statement issued on Tuesday in Abuja to commemorate the 2020 International Day of Democracy.

The United Nations General Assembly in 2007 resolved to observe Sept. 15 of every year as International Day of Democracy, to promote and uphold the principles of democracy globally.

He said that further amendments must take cognisance of experiences in previous elections.

“It may be that time has come to introduce aspects of technology in our elections that are fool proof and such should be test run with other elections before the general elections in 2023,” Tambuwal said.

He said that strengthening Nigeria’s electoral infrastructure was necessary in order to restore the hope and aspiration of Nigerians in democracy.

Tambuwal described the upcoming gubernatorial elections in Edo and Ondo states as test cases of Nigeria’s preparedness for a rule-based and consent-enabled governance.

“It has become imperative to rethink the role of not just the electoral umpire, but also the activities of various security agencies in our electoral process.

“This should be done in such a manner as to instil in them the culture of inflexible support for democracy and its practice.

“Any electoral victory obtained other than through the legitimate votes of the people is nothing short of a coup d’etat.

“It completely violates our Constitution which envisages that governmental authority must be obtained only through the will of the people.”

Tambuwal said that in marking this year Day of Democracy, it was important to remember that the struggle for democracy in the country involved sweat, blood, diplomacy, compromises and negotiations.

“This had traversed the whole period of pre and post independence struggle, the first, second and the third Republics. And our current experiment since 1999.”

“In our contemporary Nigeria, many young people who did not participate in the various struggles may not understand the intensity of the price paid by our forebears.

“It is with this in mind that I wish to flag various dangers lurking around and threatening to derail our present democratic experiment.”

Tambuwal noted that good governance anchored on a sound economy and corrupt free progressive social, cultural, and infrastructural development was a sine qua non for sustainable democracy.

He said that it behoved on all, particularly the political and economic actors to do their utmost to ensure a stable Nigeria.

“Finally, I call on the Civil Society and the Press to continue to play their watchdog roles of keeping government in check in order to ensure the survival of our democracy,” he said.