By Chimezie Godfrey
The Centre for Advancement of Civil Liberty and Development, has called on the 9th National Assembly, NASS, to expedite action on the passage of the electoral Act, in order to enthrone free, fair and credible elections in Nigeria.
The Organization in a statement on Friday in Abuja, said it is saddened that after 20 years of interrupted democratic dispensation, Nigeria was yet to learn the simple way to organise credible elections.
According to the Co-Convener, Centre for Liberty, Ariyo-Dare Atoye, this repeated failure to organise elections according to global standards has severely damaged Nigeria’s reputation among the comity of nations, among other things.
In the light of the foregoing, Mr Atoye on behalf of the organization called on the legislative arm of the Nigerian government to prioritize the passage of the amended electoral bill in their deliberations.
“Therefore, the 9th Senate and the House of Representatives must as a matter of urgency, factor into its legislative deliberations an amended Electoral Act that will address the political consequences and socio-economic impact of sub-standard elections, prevent the endless anguish and tradition foisted on elections as a result of election violence.
“And also to prevent the general threat of less than free, fair and credible elections in Nigeria’s democratic and electoral process,” he said.
Earlier, Deji Adeyanju also a Co-Covener, Centre for Liberty, lamented that elections in Nigeria, including the recent nation-wide re-run elections, have repeatedly exposed the inherent loopholes and defects in the nation’s electoral processes.
“This urgently requires electoral reforms which we believe must be prioritized as a foremost legislative focus, before the next governorship elections in Edo and Ondo states.
“We also believe that the 9th National Assembly has a responsibility to actively aggregate the general views of all stakeholders in Nigeria’s democratic process including the civil society organizations, political parties, international partners and especially the electorates, to legislate an enduring electoral reform act that will reinforce the trust of the electorates and other stakeholders in the credibility of Nigeria’s electoral process,” he stated.