Lagos – Former Gov. Donald Duke of Cross River and some other politicians on Saturday in Lagos hailed the House of Representatives’ approval of independent candidature for future elections.
The politicians in interviews said that the approval would strengthen Nigeria’s democracy and promote the right of an individual to vote and be voted for.
The House of Representatives approved independent candidacy on July 24 during a clause by clause voting on the report of its Ad-hoc Committee on Amendment of the 1999 Constitution.
Duke described the lawmakers’ decision as a step in the right direction.
He said that America was doing same, and that Nigeria needed to take any steps that would deepen its democracy.
“It will be a good development if we should have it; if a candidate goes for an election and loses, he or she will have to go and rest,’’ he said.
The former governor, however, advised that the initiative should be properly implemented to make it a success.
“Before you qualify for election, you must have a certain number of people to endorse your candidature.
“Otherwise, you find out that there are 200 people contesting an election,’’ the former governor said.
A former Commissioner for Local Governments and Chieftaincy Affairs in Lagos State, Mr Rotimi Adesoye, said that independent candidature would make Nigeria’s democracy more interesting.
He, however, expressed doubts that Nigeria’s democracy was ripe for it.
The Chairman of Amuwo Odofin Local Government Area, Mr Ayodele Adewale, said that independent candidature would strengthen Nigeria’s democracy.
“Independent candidature is good; it will help to strengthen our democracy.
Adewale said that independent candidature would enhance the credibility of Nigeria’s elections.
“However, you must not forget the fact that you need to network even though you are an independent candidate,’’ he advised.
Sen. Babafemi Ojudu, who represents Ekiti Central Senatorial District, also said that independent candidature would impact positively on Nigeria’s democracy.
“So if it passes through the Senate and becomes a law, it will be good.
“For now, it cannot become a law because it is only passed by one leg of the National Assembly, ‘’ he said. (NAN)