Rafsanjani to Tinubu: Use Supreme Court victory to improve governance

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By Chimezie Godfrey

Auwal Rafsanjani, Executive Director, CISLAC and Chairman, Transition Monitoring Group (TMG) has urged President Bola Tinubu to use his electoral victory at the Supreme Court to improve ongovernance in Nigeria.

Rafsanjani who in a statement on Friday urged all Nigerians to accept the Supreme Court verdict as the completion of the 2023 presidential election cycle, tasked President Tinubu on good governance and reducing the high cost of living for the suffering masses.

He stated,”The 2023 general election came to its full cycle with the verdict of the Supreme Court of Nigeria on 26th October 2023. Although a significant number of Nigerians hold reservations against the verdict on the appeals of candidates of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar and the Labour Party (LP), Mr Peter Obi, it must be noted that Nigeria operates under a democracy and as such, Nigerians across the divides must put aside their grievances and accept the verdict as the completion of the 2023 presidential election cycle. Nigerians must now take over the mandate of holding this administration to account by demanding accountability at all levels.

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“It is also very important for Nigerians to insist on genuine reforms in the electoral system as well as the judiciary. It must be noted that reforms that comprehensively seek to regulate the actions of political actors are critical in this time. The 2023 election exposed how much the political class can subvert electoral laws to their selfish ends. Citizens must now insist on reforms that checkmate unruly behaviours of the politicians ahead of subsequent elections in the country.

“If left in the hands of politicians, Nigeria will continue to conduct elections that remain questionable. Citizens must canvass political party reforms. As the vehicles to nomination of candidates for elections in Nigeria, it is the duty of citizens to ensure that internal democracy is entrenched in political party processes. Citizen’s accountability on this can further enable Nigerians to determine which political parties have failed to live up to expectations and should be voted out accordingly.

“It is also critical for President Tinubu to understand the importance of winning over citizens by ensuring his support for genuine electoral reforms in Nigeria. Beyond electoral reforms, the President must also ensure genuine judicial reforms as citizens currently have low confidence in the judicial system and process in Nigeria.

“President Tinubu must as a matter of urgency put in place the right machinery to use the Supreme Court victory to address the increasing high cost of living in Nigeria largely occasioned by policies introduced since inception of his administration. His victory will remain a personal one to him except it bears upon good governance to the general citizenry. It will have little meaning to Nigerians.”

Rafsanjani expressed worry over provocative statements issued by members of the ruling political party against opposition parties and their candidates, adding that it is not democratic.

“Worryingly, leaders and members of the ruling political party have engaged in issuing provocative statements against the opposition parties and their candidates. This is not democratic. The President must as a matter of urgency caution his party members to refrain from such utterances. As a leading political party, the APC must see this time as a time of healing and engage to ensure that.

“On the part of the opposition parties and their leaders, they must also as democrats and believers in the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria come to terms with the fact that the 2023 election has completed its full cycle with the judgment of the Supreme Court.

“They must also realize the critical roles of vibrant opposition to good governance. The opposition must now position itself to provide constructive opposition that works for the betterment of Nigerians. In doing this, the opposition will also be selling themselves to the citizens towards the next elections,” he said.

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