THE Labour Party (LP) has disagreed with the 2023 presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, on his call for a single six-year term for the president.
Atiku, who addressed a press conference in Abuja on Monday, made some recommendations which he said would strengthen Nigeria’s democracy and political institutions.
He recommended that electronic voting and electronic collation of results must be made mandatory, all litigation arising from a disputed election must be concluded before the inauguration of a winner, the requirement to declare a candidate winner of a presidential election must be moved to 50% +1 of the valid votes cast.
Atiku also recommended a single six-year term for Presidents to be rotated among the six geo-political zones, INEC should be the one to verify the certificates of candidates and not opposition candidates, and amendment of the Electoral Act.
Reacting in an interview with The Punch on Monday, the Chief Spokesman for the LP Presidential Campaign Council, Yunusa Tanko, said he does not subscribe to Atiku’s call for a Constitution amendment to allow a single six-year term for the president.
He stated the country could have a situation where a leader who crookedly subverted the will of the people could manipulate himself into power using court cases.
Tanko asserted that Atiku has also made a valid point with his recommendation for electoral reform, adding that the judiciary, Police and INEC must also be reformed.
He said, “I do not share this idea of a single six-year term in office. I am saying this because we could have a situation where a leader who crookedly subverted the will of the people could manipulate itself into power using court cases.
“What if we end up having a tyrant who wants to rule us for six years and we cannot do anything about it simply because the Constitution and other apparatus have made him what he is? But with four years, there is an opportunity to challenge that particular leader, except he is willing to right his wrongs.
“The fact is that the right thing must be done always. No matter how long you try to hide the truth, it will come out one day. People do not believe in this system anymore. That notwithstanding, Atiku has also made a valid point with his recommendation for an electoral reform. The judiciary, police and INEC must also be reformed. These are basic institutions that have already been captured by this particular government.
“You can see what is happening in the Supreme Court where they are already indicting themselves. We are talking about a reputable justice of the apex court, Muhammad Dattijo, making allegations against his institution. That shows we still have judges with a conscience. Above all, we need to look for a way to make INEC truly independent.”
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