By Naomi Sharang
Joint Forum of 60 Presidential Candidates and National Chairmen, have urged President Muhammadu Buhari to sign the Electoral Act Amendment into law to improve the country’s electoral system.
Chairman of the forum, Malam Shittu Mohammed, said this at a news conference in Abuja, on Tuesday.
News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the 60 parties include, United People’s Congress (UPC), Advanced Congress of Democrat (ACD), Advanced Nigeria Democratic Party (ANDP) and Movement for The Restoration and Defence of Democracy (MRDD).
Mohammed is also the National Chairman, Advanced Peoples Democratic Alliance (APDA).
He urged the President to immediately sign the Electoral Act Amendment into law once it was presented to him again by the National Assembly.
He said that if passed into law, the Act would improve on the electoral process.
“That amendment will hugely improve our electoral system and its processes,” Mohammed said.
The chairman said that in spite of the unfavourable and hostile environment the election management body operated under, it still performed creditably well.
“We hereby unequivocally reaffirm our confidence in the Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) for its performance against all odds in the conduct of the 2019 General Elections.
“There were several innovations introduced by INEC which made the 2019 elections freer, fairer and more credible than what was obtainable in the past elections.”
He listed the innovations to include, simultaneous accreditation and voting; the introduction of innovations for physically challenged voters and the Continuous Voter Registration among others.
“Therefore, the report of the European Union Election Observation Mission (EUEOM) released over a week ago wherein they alleged a lack of transparency in the guidelines of election is bewildering.
“With all due respect to the EUEOM, it is left to Nigerians to decide how we conducted our 2019 general elections.
“INEC consulted widely and extensively, and together with stakeholders of which we are a part of, came up with the guidelines for the conduct of the 2019 general elections, which the Commission followed to the latter.
“We recall that nine out of the 11 points for consideration we raised as candidates under the auspices of Inter-Party Advisory Council (IPAC) and Coalition of United Political Parties (CUPP) were adopted by the commission.”
Joint convener of the forum, Mr Perry Opara, urged chairmen of political parties to as stakeholders, set a template for generations yet unborn so that there will be stability in the country.
“We need our democracy to thrive and grow. The only way our democracy can grow is if democracy is sustained.
“We advise party chairmen and politicians to try as much as possible to calm their nerves and have confidence in the electoral body.”
Opara also called on aggrieved politicians to seek redress in the judiciary which was the last hope of the common man.