The immediate past President of the Nigerian Senate, Bukola Saraki, has called for speedy passage of the Electoral Act Amendment Bill into law.
He also tasked Nigerian youth and politicians across the country to create awareness for its importance ahead of the 2023 general elections.
He disclosed this during a special webinar on ‘Electoral Reforms and Democracy’ to mark International Day of Democracy organised by Center for Advancement of Civil Liberties.
He said nothing threatens democracy more than faulty electoral process.
Saraki said rigging of election was an invitation to chaos, adding that for any country to claim to be practising democracy, electoral process must be transparent, free, fair and credible.
He said, “In all the fight against the threat to democracy across the world, it is the youth that take the lead. So, it is encouraging that Nigerian youth are playing that role too.
“This should be the case because socio-economic development presents a bright future for the youth in our country, where there are job opportunities as well as security of lives and property. All these can only be achieved when we have stability in our democracy.
“One would have expected this initiative to have been spearheaded by political parties, politicians, elected and appointed officials who should recognise that the issue of having a credible electoral reform is very important.”
He called on civil society groups, politicians, youths, professional groups, market women and other stakeholders to create awareness and mobilise their members on the need and importance to have a credible electoral reform.
He stressed that ballot box must remain the outlet for ventilating legitimate grievances and changing of government.
“However, instead of our democracy to be maturing and for the process to be getting better, certain ugly developments have shown that we are now beginning to have elections that are devoid of the tenets of representative democracy.
“The last time we were in this same situation was in 2007 and you all saw what happened.
“The election was largely unfair. So, if we do nothing, from what we saw in the election adjudged of 2019, the tell-tale signs we are seeing preparatory to Edo elections, 2023 elections could be worse.”
The former Senate President therefore urged the National Assembly to ensure the quick passage of the Electoral Act in the interest of Nigerians.