By Johnbosco Agbakwuru, ABUJA
THE National Vice Chairman of the Inter-Party Advisory Council, IPAC, Maxwell Mgbudem has described the signing of the Electoral Act Amendment Bill into law, by President Muhammadu Buhari as the best legacy he can bequeath Nigerians.
Mgbudem, who is also the National Legal Adviser of the Accord Party also said that with the new law, President Buhari has proven that he was determined to advance the nation’s democracy.
This was contained in a statement he issued on Sunday in Abuja.
He said, “a brand new Electoral Act less than one year to the general election, can be adjudged as the best legacy the President can bequeath Nigerians.”
According to him, “The new Electoral Act will revolutionize the process of electing leaders at various levels of government, just as he observed that the Bill will herald an era of competent and credible leaders who will emerge through a transparent voting exercise, hence the votes will begin to count.
“While charging Nigerians who are of voting age to seize the opportunity to register and acquire their voter’s cards, Mgbudem said the goodwill of the President should be reciprocated, warning that if the voter apathy witnessed in the last Area Council Election in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) is repeated in 2023 general election, the objective of initiating and having the new Electoral Act would be defeated.
“He also commended the National Assembly for working with the President to achieve the feat, saying the will of the masses must be held as sacrosanct if Nigeria should get it right in her political evolution and development.”
Mgbudem hailed Nigerians for their patience, the IPAC, Civil Society Organizations, CSOs, the media and other stakeholders for sustaining the pressure on both the executive and the legislature to ensure that a new electoral act was passed and signed into law.
The IPAC Vice Chairman, while expressing confidence that the 2023 general elections will be credible, however, enjoined the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to swing into action to make the best out of the new electoral law.
Though he said that “INEC has proven beyond doubt its capacity to deliver a credible election in 2023”, Mgbudem charged the security agencies to cooperate with the chairman of INEC, Mahmoud Yakubu, to ensure that there is a peaceful general election in 2023 to enthrone a leadership that can engender progress, unity and economic development.
He commended the innovative provisions in the electoral act which he said has addressed the shortfalls that have inhibited credible elections in Nigeria.
Meanwhile, he has identified the conduct of primaries, campaign expenses, use of technological devices in elections, electronic transmission of results, review results declared by an electoral officer under duress as some of the reforms introduced that will ensure the credibility of elections in Nigeria.