Ex-President Goodluck Jonathan during a presentation of a book to mark the inauguration of Chief Nyesom Wike (Rivers State Governor), for second term, said that, Nigeria’s electoral laws needs to be modified to avoid a repeat of the 2019 polls in 2023.
He urged the National Assembly to modify the laws to ensure a better 2023 general elections.
“The parliamentarians who have won elections to go the National Assembly should take a look at what happened in the 2019 elections. We must modify our laws to make sure that in the 2023 elections, some of these things don’t repeat,” he said.
The 61 year-old former president also said that for democracy to grow in Nigeria, the electoral process must be developed in a way that Nigerians would have confidence that the system cannot be rigged.
“If democracy must endure in Africa, then the process leading to elections and the conduct of elections must be done in a way that people will have confidence in the system.”
He further spoke on electronic voting. Jonathan said that the nation must introduce electronic voting because it is the way forward for our democracy.
Jonathan who spoke on Monday at the event held in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital, also stated that a single individual shouldn’t have total power to appoint all members of the election tribunals.
According to him, allowing an individual to setup election tribunals would erode confidence in the system.
The former president noted that it is difficult for somebody to be totally neutral, adding that one way or the other, someone in the tribunal must be a supporter of one party or the other.
“The judicial process where one person constitutes all the election tribunals to hear petitions is not right. It is difficult in a democracy for somebody to be extremely neutral,” he said.
“In one way or the other, somebody close to you will be in one party or the other. The only way to be above is to make sure that one person does not have the power to constitute tribunals to listen to all cases,” he added.
There’s clearly no doubt that leaders gets wiser after they had already left office. It is usually after they are not in power that they get to see what they did wrong and what they should have done right.
Dr. Jonathan was President of Nigeria from 2010 – 2015. He was also the Vice President from 2007 – 2010 under the administration of late President Umaru Musa Yar’adua.
He was defeated by President Muhammadu Buhari in the 2015 general elections.
Buhari also won the 2019 general elections, but his main challenger, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, has vehemently rejected the declaration of Buhari as winner by the Independent National Electoral Commission.
According to Atiku, he won the election based on results he obtained from the computer server of the electoral body (INEC).
INEC had however since denied Atiku’s claim, saying that his alleged server results are fake.