Blessing Ibunge in Port Harcourt
Former Representative of the Rivers South East Senatorial District at the National Assembly, Senator Magnus Abe, has urged Nigerians to support the passage of the Electoral Act by members of the National Assembly.
The former senator said that signing of the Electoral Act by President Muhammadu Buhari would end all short cuts to power and return power to the people.
Abe made the call yesterday, during his courtesy visit to His Royal Highness, Mene Kadilo Kabari, at Barako in Gokana Local Government Area of Rivers State.
He stressed that the process that was legislated for the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to supervised direct primaries would reduce the cost of organising elections in Nigeria.
Abe said: “Elections are not expensive; it is the behavior of people that destroyed the electoral process in our country that has made elections become expensive.
“This electoral Act, if signed by Mr. President will give Nigeria a new beginning and a new opportunities for Nigerians to actually reap the dividends of democracy because there would be no short cut to power anymore.”
He condemned the actions of principal stakeholders who ought to be architects of sustainable democracy but responsible for its chaotic and expensive practice.
“The elections are expensive in our country today because all those who should take part in the process, all those who are expected to support the process are those working against it.
“Ordinarily, election is a clerical job. All you need is a polling clerk, presiding officer and party agents and they will conduct an election that will produce the kind of result that will be difficult to contest in court if we allow them to work.
“But, when those who should take part in the process are the ones hiring buses, planning thuggery, bringing police and army, all these contribute to make the election process to be expensive, cumbersome and disputed.”
Abe, however, insisted that a credible electoral process in Nigeria would change the attitude of politicians.
He said: “When politicians know that their fate in an election will be dependent on the people’s vote, they will behave differently. INEC supervised direct primaries is the way to go.”