CSO advocates presidential, N’Assembly elections on different dates
To ensure a level playing ground, the Executive Director OrderPaper, Oke Epia, said that the presidential and National Assembly elections should be held on different dates .
Epia, while presenting a report of his outfit on the recently held 2023 general elections, stressed the need to avoid the bandwagon effect of the last elections, whereby mediocre emerged victorious at the expense of competent candidates for various legislative seats.
OrderPaper, a part of the Civil Societies Organisations (CSO) partners, supported by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) funded Strengthening Civil Advocacy and Local Engagement (SCALE) project, called on the executive arm of government to liaise with the National Assembly to amend the Electoral Act to achieve the goal.
He said: “The practice of holding elections for legislative and executive positions the same day is most likely to result in electing bandwagon lawmakers without adequate knowledge of their capacity, competence and character.
“This is as a result of the attention that the presidential candidates, their political parties and the process itself generate from the media, local and international observers, as well as other stakeholders.”
“This trickles down to the voters who are often influenced to switch loyalties in line with the presidential election; hence, supporting the political party that wins the presidency at the federal level.
“This culture often leads to the emergence of winners who largely did not win on their strengths and merits.”
Epia, therefore, called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to sort out logistics issues ahead of time to avoid late arrival of officials to polling units in subsequent elections.
Get the latest news delivered straight to your inbox every day of the week. Stay informed with the Guardian’s leading coverage of Nigerian and world news, business, technology and sports.