Sokoto State governor, Aminu Tambuwal, has said that those who perpetuate rigging during elections are staging a coup. Tambuwal, in a statement to mark this year’s International Day for Democracy, said the forthcoming governorship elections in Edo and Ondo states will be a test case for Nigeria’s preparedness for a rulebased and consent-enabled governance. The United Nations General Assembly, in 2007, declared September 15 every year as the International Day of Democracy. The governor maintained that any outcome of election that did not come through electoral process violates the constitution which envisaged that governmental authority must be obtained only through the will of the people. “Any electoral victory obtained other than through the legitimate votes of the people is nothing short of a coup d’etat.
“It completely violates our constitution which envisages that governmental authority must be obtained only through the will of the people. “It bears repeating to say that good governance anchored on a sound economy and corrupt free progressive, social, cultural, and infrastructure development is a sine qua non for sustainable democracy. “It behoves on us all, particularly the political and economic actors on stage, to do our utmost to ensure a stable Nigeria,” he said. Tambuwal, who noted that the struggle for democracy in Nigeria “involved sweat, blood, diplomacy, compromises and negotiations,” stated that many young people who did not participate in the various struggles to entrench democracy in the country might not understand the price paid by the forebears.
“It is with this in mind that I wish to flag various dangers lurking around and threatening to derail our present democratic experiment,” the governor stated. He called for the strengthening of the nation’s electoral infrastructure so as to restore the hope and aspiration of Nigerians that democracy still counts. “It has become imperative to rethink the role of not just the electoral umpire, but also the activities of various security agencies in our electrical process in such a manner as to instill in them the culture of inflexible support for democracy and its practice.
“It may be that time has come to introduce aspects of technology in our elections that are fool proof and such should be test run with other elections before the general election in 2023. “Going forward, I call on the National Assembly to immediately conclude the long overdue amendments to the Electoral Act to entrench provisions that make it impossible for rigging and manipulation of elections. “In the same vein, any further amendments to the constitution must take cognisance of our experiences in previous elections,” Tambuwal demanded.