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Electoral reforms will justify our struggle – Falae

Chief Olu Falae was Secretary to the Federal Government of the Federation and Minister of Finance in the defunct transition programme of General Ibrahim Babangida. Ironically, he was  also part of the struggle for the actualisation of the annulled June 12 1993 presidential election for which he went to jail.
In this encounter, Chief Falae believes the only way to true democracy is electoral reforms and free and fair elections.
You were one of those who went to jail over the June 12 struggle. Would you say what we have today justifies the struggle?

It’s better than when we were in detention for democracy but we don’t have democracy yet. All we have is civilian rulership or civilian dictatorship because these people are ruling without the mandate of the people.

That was not our expectation, that was not our objective and that is why we are insisting that there must be electoral reforms, before the votes of the people would determine those who rule them. Electoral reforms is a condition precedent to free and fair elections and free and fair elections are the things that can give that to democracy.

So, these things must be there: electoral reforms, free and fair elections; and then democracy.

What should be done now because we have few months to elections and there is nothing on the ground?

Well, we are hearing rumour that INEC is not ready and there is no time between now and May next year to have a proper electoral reform and make solid arrangement for elections and therefore, there might be some consideration for tenure elongation.

I think is not true because that would be another form of  third term, another ploy to join a tenure which has not been given by the electorate. Those of us who believe in democracy will not accept that.

So, what happens? We don’t have voters’ register, no voters’ registration, we just got an INEC chairman.

Well, lets wait until May next year. When the tenure of the President, the governors and the others come to an end and there is no election, then there will be no government except the government of national unity and that will require all of us coming together to gether in one place.

So, if there is no election until the end of this term, we will not allow those in power to continue. We, the people will get together to form a new government of national unity which will be a transitional period during which we will have the elections. We cannot accept tenure elongation or any form of government without the involvement of other political parties.

But I pray that will not happen because they knew four years ago that there should be an election and ought to have put the machinery in place for that. So, if the elections do not hold, we will know that it is deliberate and we will not accept that. There must be no tenure elongation because we will not accept that.


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