By Tunde Opalana
Executive Governor of Sokoto State, Waziri Aminu Tambuwal has warned against any act of rigging in Saturday’s Edo and the October 10, Ondo governorship elections which he said is tantamount to a ‘coup d’etat’, which is an aberration to democratic norms and principles, Daily Times gathered.
He spoke on the occasion of this year’s United Nations General Assembly International Day of Democracy with the theme “for the purpose of promoting and upholding the principles of democracy—and invitation of all member states and organizations”.
According to him, any electoral victory obtained other than through the legitimate votes of the people is nothing short of a coup d’état.
The former Speaker, House of Representatives said coup d’état completely violates Nigeria’s constitution which envisaged that governmental authority must be obtained only through the will of the people.
Going forward, Tambuwal 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.
“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 foolproof and such should be a test run with other elections before the general elections in 2023.
“Finally, 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”, he said.
Tambuwal called on the Civil Society and the Press to continue to play its watchdog role of keeping the government in check in order to ensure the survival of democracy.
To mark this day in Nigeria, it is important to note that the struggle for Democracy has involved sweat, blood, diplomacy, compromises, and negotiations. This had traversed the whole period of pre and post-independence struggle, the First, Second, Third Republics. And our current experiment since 1999.
In 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. It is with this in mind that I wish to flag various dangers lurking around and threatening to derail our present Democratic experiment.
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.
Indeed, the upcoming Gubernatorial elections in Edo and Ondo States is a test case of our preparedness for a rule-based and consent enabled governance.
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 instill in them the culture of inflexible support for democracy and its practice.