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Senate holds retreat on electoral reform

…invites Buhari, Atiku, Ghana’s electoral boss, others

By Emmanuel Aziken
ABUJA—The Senate has invited former Head of State, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari, former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar and all the other presidential candidates in the 2007 general elections to share their experiences on the country’s electoral problems.

The Senate has also invited the Chairman of the Ghana Electoral Commission, Dr. Kwadwo Afari-Gyan to share his experiences on the successes achieved in the conduct of elections in that country.

Afari-Gyan who has been Ghana’s electoral chief since 1992 successfully conducted presidential and parliamentary elections in 1992, 1996, 2000, 2004 and 2008.


He has been especially hailed for the back-to-back presidential elections that saw opposition party candidates win the presidential elections in 1996 and 2008.

The Ghanaian electoral chief according to Vanguard sources is expected to share his experiences at the Senate retreat that is also to be graced by the President of the Senate, Chief David Mark and Justice Mohammed Uwais, a former Chief Justice of the country who also chaired the Federal Government panel on Electoral Reform.

The report of the committee is to take centre stage at the Senate retreat holding in Kaduna next week.
Nigeria’s electoral chief, Prof. Maurice Iwu has, however, not be invited for the two day retreat holding under the aegis of the Senate ad-hoc Committee on Constitution Review.

Asked why Iwu was not invited to listen to his Ghanaian counterpart, one Senate source explained that other issues involved in constitution reform besides electoral matters were sufficiently addressed.

The presence of the President of the Senate at the two day national retreat, it was further explained, would demonstrate the determination of the Senate to ensure that the legislative body delivers an amended constitution for harmonization with the House of Representatives next February.

“Whatever it is, the Senate is determined to break the jinx that has hindered the amendment of the constitution and that is why the Senate is doing everything possible to ensure that we produce a report on those areas to be amended by next February,’’ a normally reliable Senate source told Vanguard.

The source disclosed that the presence of the Senate President at the national retreat in Kaduna was indicative of the Senate’s seriousness on the issue.

Following the national retreat, the Senate committee on Constitution Review is expected to hold zonal public hearings in the six geopolitical zones.

Former Vice-President Atiku and Gen. Buhari alongside the other presidential candidates in the 2007.

The presidential candidates are expected to share their experiences on the ills of the nation’s electoral problems and provide solutions for consideration by the Senate in the process of constitution review.


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