Validate ECOWAS stance on credible process in Edo, Ondo polls, Saraki urges Buhari
Former Senate President, Abubakar Bukola Saraki, has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to demonstrate the Economic Community of West African States’ (ECOWAS) position on credible electoral process through the Edo and Ondo states governorship elections.
Saraki also advocated that more serious attention be paid to the reforming the country’s electoral system.
He made the assertions during a webinar to mark the 2020 International Democracy Day (IDD) with the theme: “Electoral Reforms and Democracy,” organised by the Centre for Advancement of Civil Liberties.
Saraki urged politicians to play by the rules to ensure the continuous growth of the nation’s democracy, saying, “Politicians must stop the mentality of electoral victory at all cost. The stability of the nation’s democracy and peace in the country are higher goals than the personal aspirations of individual politicians.
“Politicians must learn to always act in a manner that induces confidence in the people that truly, elections still provide the best process for sourcing leaders and removing non-performing officers.”
On the need to ensure that peace reigns during and after elections, he cited the example of how he prevailed on his supporters to accept the result of the 2019 Senatorial elections in Kwara Central when he lost.
“I want to also quickly point out that I am eminently qualified to pontificate on this, as I can use myself as an example. I went into elections in 2019 in Kwara State in which our party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and I lost the elections.
“We had our reservations on the credibility of the electoral process. We had good evidence of the illegal deployment of state forces and other undemocratic means to achieve the results declared by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
“The country witnessed the desperation displayed of those who could not tolerate our guts to turn the election results against us.
“The utterances of the former Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Adams Oshiomhole, who continuously boasted about how his number one priority and objective was to win Kwara State by all means necessary were well documented.
“After the result of the 2019 elections was announced, I sent messages to my supporters, despite their anger and quest to express their grievances, that they should accept the result and maintain peace,” he stated.
He explained that to further demonstrate good faith and gracefulness in defeat, he rejected all entreaties to challenge the process at the tribunal.
Saraki stressed that the lives of Nigerians, the stability of democracy and the peace of the country were more important than personal interests or the inflated egos of the leaders.
He restated that the Edo and Ondo elections should be the starting point for Nigeria’s quest for a credible electoral process, insisting that President Buhari should ensure that the two elections signpost his desire to leave a legacy of true democracy and desirable electoral process for Nigeria and Africa.
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