Electoral Institute Stresses Need For Electoral Reform

Electoral Institute, Electoral ReformThe Electoral Institute says Nigeria needs to improve its electoral service delivery and get the reform process right in order to stabilise its democracy.

The Director-General of the Electoral Institute, Professor Abubakar Momoh, made the remarks on Thursday during a meeting with stakeholders in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory.

He said that although series of talks and committees had been formed to establish a panacea to credible elections, the independence of the nation’s electoral body had come into question.

Highlighting the role of the media, Professor Momoh pointed out that the issues of rising poverty, corruption and erosion of public institutions should not easily sway media practitioners.

He said that the media has a huge role to play in solving the many challenges bedevilling the nation’s electoral process.

The guest lecturer, who is a professor of Political Science at the University of Ibadan, Adigun Agbaje, posited that the attitude of politicians was largely to blame for Nigeria’s eroding democratic values.

Other experts at the gathering also cited the experience at the Edo State governorship election as one of the ways politicians erode the foundation of democracy.

They maintained that the culture of impunity during elections must be addressed.

The stakeholders said that President Muhammadu Buhari’s renewed focus on reforming the electoral process should be sustained to the letter.

The Federal Government had constituted an Electoral Reform Committee headed by a former Senate President, Mr Ken Nnamani.

The government said the committee was set up, not as an imitation of the Justice Mohammed Uwais’ panel, but to improve on the preceding one.

FG Says Electoral Reform Committee Not An Imitation

Ken Nnamani on Electoral Reform CommitteeThe Nigerian Government says its newly inaugurated Electoral Reform Committee is not an imitation of the Justice Mohammed Uwais’ panel.

The government, however, said it had constituted the committee to improve on the preceding one.

The head of the committee and a former Senate President, Mr Ken Nnamani, made the clarification on Tuesday in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.

Reduce Poll Rigging

Senator Nnamani pointed out that President Muhammadu Buhari was determined to turn around the nation’s electoral system, in order to reduce the prevalence of polls rigging and violence.

The Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation, Mr Abubakar Malami, also made further explanation on the newly inaugurated committee.

He said the 24-man panel was carefully selected from across board.

Mr Malami was hopeful that the committee would among other things, enthrone transparency and come up with implementable recommendations.

He said the committee had been given 10 weeks to submit its report.

Diversionary and Unnecessary

Dele-Ashiru
Dr. Dele Ashiru

However, a lecturer at the University of Lagos’ Political Science Department, Dr. Dele Ashiru, was of the belief that another electoral committee was unnecessary.

Dr. Ashiru berated the government for its refusal to implement the recommendations of past committees that had been set up to review Nigeria’s electoral system.

He told Channels Television that recommendations of past electoral committees were yet to be implemented, describing the Nnamani panel as diversionary and unnecessary.

Ashiru wondered what area of the electoral system had not been covered by the Justice Uwais report.

He highlighted some of the recommendations of the Uwais panel, which he believed if implemented, would provide solutions to many challenges faced during elections in Nigeria.

The academic emphasised the need for the Electoral Offences Commission and the exemption of the Independent National Electoral Commission from the internal affairs of political parties, as key recommendations that should be implemented.

Anti-Corruption Summit: Buhari’s Advance Party Leaves Sunday Night

south sudanPresident Muhammadu Buhari’s advance party is expected to leave Nigeria on Sunday, May 8, to the United Kingdom ahead of the President’s arrival on Tuesday, May 10.

The summit is holding in the British capital on Thursday, May 12.

A pre-summit conference of development partners, the Commonwealth Enterprise and Investment Council, Transparency International and other civil society groups will also hold on Wednesday, May 11.

At the pre-summit conference, President Buhari is billed to deliver a keynote address titled: “Why We Must Tackle Corruption Together”.

The theme of the Anti-Corruption Summit is ‘Exposing Corruption, Tackling Corruption and Driving Out Corruption’.

President Buhari is once again expected to urge the international community to move faster on the dismantling of safe havens for the proceeds of corruption and the return of stolen funds and assets to their countries of origin.

The President’s delegation to the Summit will include the Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation, Mr Abubakar Malami and the acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr Ibrahim Magu.

A statement by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina , said the President was one of the world leaders scheduled to speak at the opening session of the Anti-Corruption Summit with others, including Prime Minister Cameron and the President of World Bank, Dr. Jim Yong Kim.

“As an internationally recognised leader in the global fight against corruption, President Buhari will play a prominent part in the summit which will be hosted by Prime Minister David Cameron of Great Britain with many other Heads of State and Government in attendance.

“In his address to the summit and interactions with other participating leaders, President Buhari will urge the international community to move faster on the dismantling of safe havens for the proceeds of corruption and the return of stolen funds and assets to their countries of origin.

“The President will also reaffirm his administration’s unwavering commitment to the fight against corruption and the Federal Government’s readiness to partner with international agencies and other countries to identify, apprehend and punish corrupt public officials,” the statement read.

Before returning to Abuja on Friday, May 13, the President is expected to have a separate meeting with Prime Minister Cameron to discuss ongoing Nigeria-Britain collaboration in the war against corruption and terrorism, as well as other issues, including trade and economic relations between both countries.