EDITORIAL: We must amend our Electoral Act for democratic growth
The various judgements of the court, most importantly the Supreme Court on electoral matters since the completion of the general elections in 2019 validated the reasoning of promoters of the amendment of the Electoral Act. The IMPACT NEWS aligns with those clamoring for the review. However, ours is also a call for an update of the Act. Recent happenings has revealed that like all human activities, especially governance across the world, our democracy is imperfect, there is therefore the need to frequently accommodate current realities.
In any democracy, the judiciary plays important role that cannot be over emphasised. The various post-2019 General elections judgments of the Supreme Court pointed to the fact that that arm of government remains the last hope of justice.
We are therefore worried about various pre-election litigations that drag on even after public officers have been sworn into offices. THE IMPACT NEWS recalled that May 2019, the apex court sacked all candidates of the All Progressives Congress (APC) that participated in the 2019 general elections in Zamfara state. The court ruled the party did not conduct valid primary elections to nominate candidates for any elective position in the state. This epic ruling paved way for the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)’s candidates for the governorship, Senatorial, House of Representatives, and State Assembly.
Last week, the court also sacked David Lyon, the candidate of the APC in the November 2019 governorship election in Bayelsa state, as governor-elect and winner of the November 2019 Bayelsa governorship election. This development was less than 24 hours to his swear-in as the executive governor of the state.
These developments, epic as they are, show democracy is a journey, not a destination. We call on relevant stakeholders in the Nigeria’s democracy and electoral process to push for the amendment of the electoral act to make provision for proper conclusion of all electoral litigation before elected public officers take oath of office. This will ensure that public administration and governance is free of distraction and less politicking.
We also challenged the National Assembly, President Muhammadu Buhari and all Nigerians to support the independence and sanctity of the Judiciary, which is the hallmark of any democracy.