Perfect electoral law won’t guarantee credible elections, says Omo-Agege
Deputy President of the Senate, Ovie Omo-Agege, yesterday, declared that a perfect electoral law won’t guarantee free and fair elections if other components of the country’s electioneering process remain flawed.
He stated this at the presentation and inaugural meeting of the Electoral Forum organised by the Electoral Hub and Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA) in Abuja.
The Deputy President of the Senate, who was represented by his Special Adviser on Legal and Constitutional Matters, Daniel Bwala, argued that a good electoral process could only be sustained if founded on adequate electioneering culture.
“No matter how good the clauses are in the electoral law, if other aspects of the electioneering process are flawed, the electoral process itself will ultimately be flawed,” he said.
Omo-Agege, who is also Chairman, Senate Committee on Constitution Review, added that there was need for adequate and generally acceptable rules of engagement in the country’s electoral process.
“I refer to how candidates emerge on party platforms, campaign rally rules and general political actions toward fair and credible political participation by voters.
“While there have been several more issues in our electoral history, it seems that if we had had adequate clauses and unambiguity, adequate advocacy, understanding and will to comply, we would have had less controversies, fewer post-election litigations and a more credible electoral process,” he said.
While canvassing direct primary mode, Omo-Agege said direct primaries would have stronger salutary consequence on the challenges of selecting delegates at primaries, which he said, had been a sore point in Nigeria’s electioneering process.
Chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Mahmood Yakubu, said the commission approved the devolution of the Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) exercise to the 326 wards in Anambra State ahead of the governorship election.
Yakubu, who was represented by National Commissioner, Mrs. May Agbamuche-Mbu, urged all eligible voters to use the opportunity to get their Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs).
“Nine weeks into the exercise, we have witnessed 2,485,770 online registrations and a total of 3,325,741, which is encouraging and of the online registrants 2,160,292 are youths aged between 18 and 34,” he said.
Director of IRIAD, The Electoral Hub, Princess Hamman-Obels, said the group initiated the Electoral Forum to pool resource persons from electoral management bodies together with other electoral stakeholders, adding that the move was aimed at finding solutions to the challenges of the country’s electoral process.
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