…tasks N-Assembly on electoral act
By Emma Ovuakporie
ABUJAâ€”Former Secretary General of the Commonwealth, Chief Emeka Anyaoku, has advised the National Assembly to ensure that political decampees are made to seek fresh mandate in their new political parties while reviewing the Electoral Act.
He stated this in a paper he delivered yesterday titled: â€˜The Civil Service in Nigeriaâ€™s Democratic Governanceâ€™ at the African regional conference of the Commonwealth Association for Public Administration and Management, CAPAM.
Said he: “I must appeal to the legislature which is currently reviewing our Electoral Act, to recognize among other desirable changes, that if the essence of credible elections is to endure, all elected representatives and office holders should not after election be allowed to change their political parties without first resigning and going back to the electorate to seek fresh mandate on the basis of their new political parties.â€
He, however, noted that â€œhere in Nigeria, our democracy currently faces a number of challenges and the most serious is the challenge of ensuring that those who represent the people in the National Assembly, the state assemblies and the local government councils, as well as those who occupy political offices at the three tiers of government are freely, fairly and credibly elected by the population.â€
â€œWe are now looking at the president to see that the leading personnel of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, especially the chairman and the commissioners are people of knowledgeable integrity and non-political partisanship who can ensure that the entire electoral process, including, the compilation and timely display of electoral register, and the logistic arrangements for voting are transparently and correctly effected.â€
On the war against graft, Anyaoku said, â€œthere is also the challenge of tackling corruption and its pervasive effects on all the institutions and instruments of governance, and reducing the role of money in our electoral process as elections should not only be for the super rich, there should be reasonable limits to the financial contributions to, and deposits by, candidates as well as, on how much they can spend on electoral campaigns.