Nigeria’s former Vice President Atiku Abubakar has warned against the likelihood of Nigeria slipping to becoming a one-party state.
Atiku made the remarks when he hosted the national executive committee of the Inter-Party Advisory Council Nigeria (IPAC) yesterday in Abuja.
“The project of protecting democracy in our country is not about just one man. You have come here today to say that we should cooperate in order to promote democracy.
“But the truth of the matter is that our democracy is fast becoming a one-party system; and, of course, you know that when we have a one-party system, we should just forget about democracy,” a statement by his media aide, Paul Ibe, quoted Atiku as saying.
He further urged the leadership of IPAC, led by its national president, Yabagi Sani, to rally opposition political parties together to create a more formidable front that will salvage Nigeria’s democracy from sliding into a one-party state.
“We have all seen how the APC is increasingly turning Nigeria into a dictatorship of one party. If we don’t come together to challenge what the ruling party is trying to create, our democracy will suffer for it, and the consequences of it will affect the generations yet unborn,” Atiku said.
He further chided the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for conducting the worst ever general election in the country.
“Recently again in the off-season election in three states, INEC doubled down on its disregard for the tenets of our democracy.
“We all can see how INEC declared a result in Kogi State where the total number of votes cast is higher than the total number of accredited voters in one local government.
“We cannot have a healthy democracy in an environment where all INEC does is to deliver the ruling party at all cost,” he stated.
The former vice president urged lawmakers of the various opposition parties in the National Assembly to sponsor legislation that will advance the course of the constitutional and electoral reforms agenda that he shared in his recent press conference.
“The issue of electronic voting must be the urgent priority of the National Assembly because countries that are far less advanced as Nigeria are already doing it.
“Until our elections pass the test of transparency through electronic voting, it will be difficult for INEC to regain its credibility, and our democracy will be the first casualty of such a situation,” Atiku noted.
Yabagi Sani, while speaking on behalf of other members of IPAC, said notwithstanding the glaring shortcomings associated with elections, democracy remains the best form of government.
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