By Ikenna Uwadileke
Abuja -Alhaji Yahaya Ndu of the defunct African Renaissance Party (ARP) presidential candidate in 2011 and 2013 General Elections, has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to accent the electoral bill into law.
Ndu made the appeal while reacting to the conduct of Sept. 19 governorship election in Edo via a telephone interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday.
He said that accenting into law would further strengthen the country’s electoral process.
He commended the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for successful and peaceful conduct of the election.
Ndu also said that the electoral bill would guarantee more credible and transparent elections in the country.
NAN reports that ARP was de-registered by INEC in 2012 for not meeting the required constitutional requirements that determine the continuous existence of political parties in the country.
On the Edo governorship election, Ndu said that as far as the conduct goes, “I think it was well conducted in a transparent and credible manner’’.
Ndu, who is also the President, Peoples Movement for a New Nigeria, a pro-democracy group, emphasised the need to promote party ideologies with a view to ensuring good governance in the country.
NAN reports that in a keenly contested election, the winner Godwin Obaseki, candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) polled 307,955 votes to defeat Osagie Ize-Iyamu of the All Progressives Congress (APC) who got 223,619 votes.
Obaseki had defected to the PDP from the APC when he was disqualified from participating in the APC governorship primaries over alleged irregularities in his academic qualifications.
“We should go beyond elections if we want the country to move forward.
“If you look at that election in Edo, the person that won on the platform of PDP served his first tenure on the platform of the APC,’’ Ndu told NAN.
He said that political parties were about creating fences and divisions, not about unifying the people and good governance.
“If we want our country to move forward, we must find a way to work together regardless of our political affiliations.
“I am happy on how the election was conducted in Edo state and I urged the president to sign the Electoral Bill to further strengthen the country’s electoral process to engender transparent and credible elections.’’
Ndu noted that before and after the 2019 presidential election, the bill has not been signed and “we don’t have any guarantee that it will be signed before the next elections’’.
“Democracy is about mass participation in governance, many Nigerians don’t have any direct contact with their representatives in the National Assembly and the masses have no input on how they are governed.
He further advocated for a reduction in the amount of money expended in conducting elections in the country, describing it as outrageous.
According to him, there is a need to prune the cost spent in conducting elections in Nigeria.
“If we calculate the money, time and lives lost and channel the funds towards productive endeavours, we find out that this country would not be borrowing money for anything,’’ Ndu said.