BY AMOS DUNIA, ABUJA – Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal of Sokoto State on Tuesday declared that any electoral victory obtained other than through the legitimate votes of the people is nothing short of a coup d’état.
This is as he stressed that the strengthening of our electoral infrastructure has become very urgent, if we are to restore the hope and aspiration of Nigerians that democracy still counts.
He said that the upcoming governorship elections in Edo and Ondo States is a test case of our preparedness for a rule based and consent enabled governance.
Tambuwal, who stated these on the occasion of the ‘International Day of Democracy’, said that fraudulent electoral victory completely violates Nigeria’s Constitution which envisaged that governmental authority must be obtained only through the will of the people.
The former Speaker of the House of Representatives therefore called on the National Assembly to immediately conclude the long overdue amendments to the Electoral Act to entrench provisions that make it impossible for rigging and manipulation of elections.
He further said; “In the same vein, any further amendments to the Constitution must take cognisance of our experiences in previous elections.
“It may be that time has come to introduce aspects of technology in our elections that are fool proof and such should be test run with other elections before the general elections in 2023,” he enthused.
Tambuwal also said that to mark this day in Nigeria, it is important to note that the struggle for Democracy has involved sweat, blood, diplomacy, compromises and negotiations, adding that this had traversed the whole period of pre and post-independence struggle, the First, Second, Third Republics. And our current experiment since 1999.
He noted that in our contemporary Nigeria, many young people who did not participate in the various struggles may not understand the intensity of the price paid by our forebears.
Tambuwal said; “It is with this in mind that I wish to flag various dangers lurking around and threatening to derail our present Democratic experiment.
“It has become imperative to rethink the role of not just the electoral umpire, but also the activities of various security agencies in our electoral process in such a manner as to instil in them the culture of inflexible support for democracy and its practice.
“It bears repeating to say that good governance anchored on a sound economy and corrupt free progressive social, cultural, and infrastructural development is a sine qua non for sustainable democracy.
“It behooves on us all, particularly the political and economic actors on stage to do our utmost to ensure a stable Nigeria.
“I call on the Civil Society and the Press to continue to play its watchdog role of keeping government in check in order to ensure the survival of our Democracy,” the Governor ppealed.
In 2007 the United Nations General Assembly resolved to observe 15 September of every year as the International Day of Democracy—with the purpose of promoting and upholding the principles of democracy—and invited all member states and organizations to commemorate the day in an appropriate manner that contributes to raising public awareness.