Immediate Nigeria’s former President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan has declared that if democracy must endure, the democratic process must be developed in a way that people will have confidence in the electoral process.
Speaking at a Lecture/Book Presentation to mark the Second Term Inauguration of Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike in Port Harcourt on Monday, Jonathan stated that despite the challenges, the country must embrace electronic voting.
- Am Sad at ‘Low’ People Who Tells Lies Against Others, Jonathan Denies Withdrawing ‘Billions’ From Treasury
The former president who pointed that Electronic voting is the way forward in Nigeria’s electoral process noted that Africa must come up with minimum standards for the establishment of the Election Management Body.
He also advised that for the purpose of confidence building for credible elections, powers should not be vested in the hand of one single person to constitute the Election Management Body.
“We must come up with new standards for constituting our election management body in a way that people will have confidence. I believe in some Quarters what they do is that a body of people constitutes the Election Management Body. It is not in the hands of one person.
“When you leave such responsibility in the hands of a politician, no matter how good the person is, there will be a tendency for people to suspect that the right thing is not done. When people don’t have confidence in the system, whatever they do, it is difficult for the people to accept,’ he noted.
The former president who added that no single official should have the power to appoint all the Election Petition Tribunals as this erodes confidence in the system, also pointed that 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. 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 all the powers to constitute tribunals to listen to all cases”, he said.
Speaking on insecurity, Jonathan called for the enthronement of independent security agencies that will provide security during elections.
Jonathan who decried the online video in Rivers State where women were dragging soldiers attempting to compromise Rivers elections said the African Union must come up with a code of conduct for security operatives that participate in elections.
“What happened in Rivers State, in a video being circulated where women were dragging soldiers down from walls was a very sorry sight. When these things are being discussed outside the country, if you are a Nigerian, you feel so ashamed “.
The Former President called on the National Assembly to work towards amending the National Laws to ensure that what happened in 2019 is not repeated in 2023.
He congratulated the people of Rivers State for their total support of Governor Wike during the elections, saying the Rivers election was a star election in 2019, as it was used to assess the elections.