From Kehinde Adewole
Ex-deputy governor of Ekiti State, Prof. Kolapo Olusola Eleka has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to consolidate on the success recorded in past administration on electoral process by signing the 2018 Amendment Bill into law.
President Buhari had declined assent to the 2018 Electoral Amendment Bill because he was concerned that passing a new electoral bill prior to 2019 general elections which commenced under the 2015 Electoral Act, could create some uncertainty about the applicable legislation to govern the process.
Speaking in his home town, Ikere-Ekiti at the weekend, Eleka said apart from inept leadership and corruption; electoral manipulation is a hindrance to flourishing democracy in Nigeria. “One of the factors Military juntas gave for the interregnum in 1966 was electoral violence in the 1964 general election and 1965 Western election respectively.
“Of course, former president Goodluck Jonathan’s administration made a tremendous achievement in the electoral process by introducing some innovations to strengthen the institution. Our leaders need constant engagement with the institutions; Constitution, Electoral Act and others to strengthen democracy in Nigeria and Africa.
“It is my hope that President Buhari places national interest over his personal interest and signs the Amendment Bill sent to him by the Senate which will legalise the use of Card readers and address other shortcomings in the electoral process”.
He charged all stakeholders to work together irrespective of their political affiliation to make Nigeria a working country that Nigerians will be proud of.
“Both the National Assembly and Judiciary must ensure that the Electoral Amendment Bill is passed into law as, without electoral reforms, our democracy will continue to be undermined”, Eleka said.