The Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs, Rep. Yusuf Buba (APC-Adamawa), says Nigeria must learn from the 2020 U.S. presidential election to build strong electoral institutions.
In an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) Buba stressed the need for Nigerians to put their trust in election managers in the country.
He said Nigeria and Nigerians must take a cue from the U.S. in strengthening electoral institutions rather than undermining them.
According to the legislator, who represents Gombi/Hong Federal Constituency, strong institutions enhance the confidence of voters in electoral process and curtail violence.
He observed that in spite of the fact that the election was tension- soaked and most Americans had access to guns, no violence was recorded.
“Where you have strong institutions, the citizens will have no option than to believe whatever decision they come out with.
“If the institutions in America were not strong, by now you would be seeing violence; where you see demonstrations, they are peaceful because the people have confidence.
“Instead of seeking to raise strong men and women, who will rise above institutions like the Electoral management body, INEC, the postal services, the police and other security agencies whenever they see the need to do so.
“We rather strengthen those institutions so that no one man or group can rise above them, especially during emergencies.
“Every effort in Nigeria must be geared toward establishing trust for the systems and for the human elements who operate them.
“It is only by so doing that our nation can start to get its acts right,” he said.
Buba said that institutional failure was a problem is Africa, saying that there was the need to make laws that would empower electoral institutions.
“As legislators we need to review and strengthen our laws so that whosoever goes against any law will have himself to blame.
“Where you have strong laws to strengthen institutions, citizens will know that if you go against the law, the law will catch up with you.
“But where we have laws and the laws are not respected, that is where the problem is,” he said.
While congratulating the president-elect, Joe Biden, and the Vice President-elect, Kamala Harris, Buba urged the leaders to demonstrate magnanimity in victory, saying that their votes were products of Americans of all races, parties and faiths.
Buba also called on the outgoing President, Donald Trump, to accept the will of the American people as expressed in the ballot box without a fight, but in the realisation that power is transient.
The lawmaker also congratulated citizens of the U.S. for a smooth conduct of the election.
According to him, Americans have once again demonstrated their understanding, confidence and trust in a system they have operated over the past 200 years.
Buba called for the restoration of the many diplomatic ties and co-operations with African States and parliaments which were forced to either weaken or disappear in the past few years. (NAN)