The immediate past national chairman of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) John Odigie-Oyegun, has said there was need for Nigeria to build an electoral system that will make it difficult for human interference.
He has therefore called on President Muhammadu Buhari to re-consider signing the Electoral Act Amendment Bill into law.
Oyegun stated this on Thursday in Abuja after he watched a political documentary entitled ‘Sweat of Democracy’.
The documentary focused on history of major political events that took place in the country. It also x-rayed the struggle for democracy and fight against military regime chiefly, the annulment of June 12, 1993 presidential election, presumably won by Moshood Abiola.
Oyegun, who was optimistic that the military will never again return to power in Nigeria, however expressed concern on efforts Nigerian leaders have been making, especially on building on the sacrifice and the ultimate price people like Abiola, his wife Kudirat and some others paid for the current democracy being enjoyed in the country.
“We are already making serious mistake and I think a lot of the speakers in this documentary alluded to that. We are making mistakes, we are bound to make mistakes, unfortunately, I think we are making extremely serious and avoidable mistakes but we will learn from them, Oyegun said.
The former Edo State governor noted that the voting public are beginning to recognise and appreciate the power that they have.
This according to him was witnessed during this 2019 general election.
“We can see that in the same area, people will vote for the president, but throw out their governor. So, the voting public is a lot more sensible and sensitive today and they have started to realise that finally they are the employers of all politicians, whether president, governor or local government chairman. Therein lies the hope of democracy in this country.
“So, if we are going to fight any struggle today, it will be to defend the power of the vote and make sure that will build an electoral system that will make it difficult for human interference for human beings at one stage or the other to be able to change figures.
“It should become possible that at any unit result is declared, it will immediately be on boards all over the country. So that anybody who can do simple arithmetic can begin to know who is where as far as the electoral process is concerned,” he said.
When asked to confirm if by his suggestion on a better electoral system he would want President Buhari to reconsider Electoral Act amendment bill he rejected on several occasions, Oyegun said:
“Whatever defects they ran in it, we now have a bit of time, it should be looked at. I know there is no electronic system that you cannot undermine, but things should happen in such quick succession.
“A unit should know its result within an hour. So there is no time for somebody somewhere to start seeing whether that local government or that ward is favourable or not favourable to see whether they can add few figures here and there. The unit count is automatic, it displays on a board, it goes public. You have as clean as possible, the result. It may even abate electoral violence at the end of the day.”
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