Use June 12 to recommit to electoral reforms – Group tells NASS, Buhari

A civil society group, Centre for Liberty has called on President Muhammadu Buhari and the National Assembly (NASS) to use the occasion of this year’s democracy day celebration to recommit to electoral reforms.

Without enduring electoral reforms that could guarantee better elections as June 12, 1993, Presidential Election, the centre said marking the day “will amount to an exercise in futility.”

The Co-conveners of CFL, Ariyo-Dare Atoye and Adebayo Raphael in a statement in Abuja on Thursday, also advised the NASS to commence the process of amending the Electoral Act to address the deficit in the electoral process.

It said, “We appeal to the President to use the occasion of June 12, 2020, to recommit to an enduring electoral reform by tasking the National Assembly on the timely passage of the Electoral Act Amendment Bill, 2019, currently before the Senate, and to equally pledge his immediate assent to the act, once it is transmitted.

“As a matter of commitment, this is the time for the ninth National Assembly to learn from the painful impasse that occurred between the executive and the eighth legislative session over similar proposed legislation, and ensure that this bill is passed this year.”

In addition, the CFL urged political parties, election observer groups, international monitors, civil societies, the media and every concerned stakeholder to relaunch a fervent demand for electoral reforms and the passage of the Electoral Act amendment bill.

The group noted, “Countries with credible electoral processes seem to be better governed the world over; so, therefore, there is a direct correlation between the quality of the electoral process that can guarantee credible recruitment process for leadership and good governance.”

The CFL said it was committed to a comprehensive reform of the legal frameworks guiding elections in Nigeria, adding that the occasion of June 12 represents a great opportunity for galvanising the public towards reforms that could address the shortcomings in the electoral process.

“After 20 years of uninterrupted democratic dispensation, it is incumbent on every Nigerian to ensure we conduct elections that meet global standards and can be likened to the June 12, 1993, Presidential Election,” the statement noted.

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