Be bold in implementing electoral laws – SDP tells INEC

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The Social Democratic Party, SDP, has called on the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to be bold in implementing provisions of electoral laws and the Constitution in future elections.

The SDP National Chairman, Shehu Gabam, said this when he spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria in Abuja on Tuesday.

Gabam said Nigerians expected INEC in 2024 to make adjustments in areas where there were mistakes in the past and take bold steps to correct them in the future.

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He added that INEC must be bold in prosecuting electoral offenders and cancel elections where there was evidence of compromise in the process.

“In the last election in Kogi, INEC admitted that the election result sheet, which is the most sensitive election material, was leaked and pre-filled before the election, but it didn’t act appropriately.

“In spite of promising that it will cancel the election in those three local government areas, it didn’t do that, but we are fighting it. We have instituted a petition to challenge it.

“INEC needs to be bold because they have the power to cancel elections where there is evidence of compromise. The law is very clear,’’ he said.

Gabam advised the INEC chairman to be bold in rectifying some of the commission’s past mistakes.

“The commission said that it was investigating some electoral offenders, INEC has to demonstrate to Nigerians that it is very serious in prosecuting them, otherwise voter apathy in this country will be unprecedented,’’ he said.

On the call for further review of electoral laws, Gabam said Nigeria needed reorientation of Nigerians if it must get its electoral process right.

“I think reorientation is key. Generally, there is a need for reorientation for people to understand their rights and privileges.

“If people are reoriented properly for them to understand that it is their constitutional right to cast their votes and their votes to be counted, they will resist any attempt to subvert their votes.

“Once people started resisting an attempt to subvert their votes, there’s nothing anybody, including the executive, can do to subvert their will,” he said.

He added that Nigerians must also change their attitude of boycotting elections, saying boycotting elections was not a solution in the democratic system of government.

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