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Edo/Ondo elections: Buhari must put his feet down, says Saraki

Immediate past Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, yesterday advised President Muhammadu Buhari to ensure that the gubernatorial elections scheduled to hold in Edo and OndostatesonSeptember19and October 10, respectively, was fair, credible and free of any form of manipulation and violence.

Saraki, who insisted that President Buhari must “put his feet down” to live up to his desire of leaving behind a legacy of a clean electoral process, warned that based on the developmentsthattrailedrecentelections and the ones scheduled to hold, the 2023 general election could be worse than 2007, which was adjudged as largely unfair.

Saraki, the chairman Politiea Institute, spoke during a webinar organised to mark the 2020 International Democracy Day, organised in Abuja, by the Centre for Advancement of Civil Liberties (CAVIL) also known as Centre for Liberty (CFL) with the theme; ‘Electoral Reforms and Democracy.’ According to him, recent events of electoral fraud in some countries leading to looming and ongoing crisis due to perversion of the constitutional process, showed that there was a serious worldwide threat against democracy. LamentingthatvotesinNigeria do not count, he said instead of the country’s democracy to be maturing and for the process to be getting better, certain ugly developments had shown that our elections were beginning to be devoid of the tenets of representative democracy. He said: “President Buhari mustusetheEdoandOndoelections to demonstrate ECOWAS commitmenttocredibleelectoral process.

The President must put his feet down and ensure that the security agencies will, and must, not be misused to influence the results of the elections inEdoandOndostates. Also, the electoral commission should be made to be truly immune from manipulationsbyindividuals, no matter how highly placed.”

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