Constitutional lawyer, Dr Olisa Agbakoba (SAN), on Thursday advocated for balanced voting in Nigeria’s elections in order to deepen the nation’s democracy.
Agbakoba made this known while briefing newsmen in Lagos.
He noted that a critical appraisal of the just concluded presidential and parliamentary elections showed that some Nigerians were still voting on ethnic lines.
Agbakoba said:”We hope that the gubernatorial and house of assembly elections will be balanced. We need to get rid of ethnicity in our political system.
“We want to see balanced voting everywhere and robust voting devoid of ethnicity.
“I don’t accept that the South East would have voted 90 per cent for President Goodluck Jonathan and the same goes to the North West who did same for Gen. Muhammadu Buhari .
“What helped Buhari was the consistent balanced voting across majority of the states.
“As a politician it makes sense to appeal to everybody. If President Barack Obama had stayed with the blacks alone he would have lost. He appealed to all Americans.”
According to him, the failure to understand balanced voting cost the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) the presidential election.
He noted that the restructuring of the country which was one of the objectives of the 2014 National Conference would help to eliminate such imbalances in the future.
Agbakoba, however hailed Jonathan for conceding defeat to Buhari, adding that the president must be given credit for laying the foundation for a more credible electoral system.
The Senior Advocate said:”Jonathan allowed the democratic space to open. He allowed multi-party democracy and he allowed free and fair elections.
“He took the shine off Buhari by calling and conceding even before the final result was announced by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).”
Agbakoba also commended the INEC Chairman, Prof. Attahiru Jega and all Nigerians for working assiduously and relentlessly towards the success of the elections.
While congratulating Buhari on his victory, the constitutional lawyer urged the president-elect not to jettison the suggestions of the national conference.
He also urged the incoming administration to decapitate the Federal Civil Service and implement the Steve Oronsaye Report in order to reduce cost of governance.
Agbakoba further called for the dismantling of the present anti-corruption framework and the strengthening of Nigeria’s institutions to tackle the menace.
“We need a new anti-corruption frame work because the current one has not worked.
“Let the message be clear that there will be response from government that corruption will be severely punished,” he added.
Sent from my Samsung device