Elder statesman, Alhaji Tanko Yakasai, on Monday in Kano called for immediate reforms in Nigeria’s political system, expressing fears that elections in Nigeria will not be any better if action is not urgently taken to establish standards that will ensure viable democracy.
Yakasai was reacting to the outcome of the Bayelsa and Kogi gubernatorial elections in which the All Progressive Congress (APC) recorded landslide victories against the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
He said the elections did not meet the requirements of a viable democracy.
According to him: “There are three important pillars upon which democracy survives. One of those pillars is vibrant, strong and independent political party system.
“Political parties ought to be controlled by the members; but in Nigeria today, the story is different.
“The second pillar is the electoral umpire—that is the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). If the organisation responsible for organising election can be manipulated, then the whole system is shattered.
“The third pillar is the judiciary. The judiciary should have integrity. The judiciary ought to be controlled by men of integrity. Today in Nigeria, I do not think such is happening.”
Yakasai, who was political adviser to former President Shehu Shagari, said he was not sure of a credible election in Nigeria in the nearest future, if nothing was done to rebuild the three pillars of democracy he identified.
According to him, for democracy to strive in Nigeria, there must be reforms that will bring about a system that is trusted and driven by the will of the people, rather than the interest of a very few politicians.
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