Ex-Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki

Former Senate President, Abubakar Bukola Saraki, has called for a speedy passage of the Electoral Act Amendment Bill into law.

Saraki who spoke at a special webinar on ‘Electoral Reforms and Democracy’ to mark International Day of Democracy, organised by Center for Advancement of Civil Liberties, noted that rigging of election was an invitation to chaos.

He said the any country which says it is practising democracy, must have transparent, free, fair and credible electoral process.

The former senate president tasked Nigerian youths and politicians to create awareness for the importance of the Bill ahead 2023 general elections, he said nothing threatens democracy more than faulty electoral process.

“It is particularly good that the bulk of our audience here today are youths. This is because in all the fight against the threat to democracy across the world, it is the youths that take the lead,” he said.

“So, it is encouraging that Nigerian youths are playing that role too. This should be the case because socio-economic development presents a bright future for the youth in our country, where there are job opportunities as well as security of lives and property.

“All these can only be achieved when we have stability in our democracy. One would have expected this initiative to have been spearheaded by political parties, politicians, elected and appointed officials who should recognise that the issue of having a credible electoral reform is very important”, Saraki said.

Saraki noted that there was need for civil society groups, politicians, youths, professional group, market women and other stakeholders to create awareness and mobilise their members on the need and importance to have a credible electoral reform.

He stressed that ballot box must remain the outlet for ventilating legitimate grievances and changing government.

“Instead of our democracy to be maturing and for the process to be getting better, certain ugly developments have shown that we are now beginning to have elections that are devoid of the tenets of representative democracy.

“The last time we were in this same situation was in 2007 and you all saw what happened. The election was adjudged largely unfair.

“So, if we do nothing, from what we saw in the elections of 2019, the elections in Kogi and Bayelsa states and the tell-tale signs we are seeing preparatory to Edo elections, 2023 elections could be worse,” he added.