By Dirisu Yakubu
ABUJA– Former President of the Senate, Ken Nnamani, has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to take another look at recommendation of the Mohammed Uwais Committee Report, with a view to implementing same to reform the nation’s electoral system.
Nnamani made the plea, yesterday, in his keynote address at the 3rd Oronto Douglas Memorial Dialogue in Abuja.
He urged the Buhari administration to learn from South Africa in the appointment of the chairman of Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.
Represented by Mallam Mohammed Bello, Nnamani challenged Nigerians to take credible elections more seriously, arguing that many Nigerians, including respectable civil society leaders consider credible election as if it starts and ends on the election day, noting that the credibility of polls was more than that.
He said: “It is obvious that the Uwais Report represents a high point in the search for an electoral system that will suit Nigeria’s peculiar circumstances.
“The eminent members of that committee proposed many innovations that could restore credibility and fairness to our electoral system. Unfortunately, many of these innovative proposals were not implemented.
“The independence of the election management body is mostly determined by the mode of appointment.
“In South Africa and some African countries, the process of appointment of electoral management officials is more of competitive recruitment where those appointed will have a sense that they merited the position, not that they are beneficiaries of political patronage.
“We spend so much on providing security, yet, we continue to witness a high level of violence and electoral crimes. In a third World country like Nigeria, public offices are very attractive. So politicians have incentive to fight dirty to gain access to these political offices.
“Until we can reduce the financial rewards of occupying political offices through anti-corruption and accountability measures, we should expect desperation from politicians. We must deal with violence and other electoral crimes through institutional redesigning. “