The Chairman of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) Governors’ Forum and Governor of Sokoto State, Aminu Tambuwal, has said that election rigging is akin to a coup d’etat, saying both deprive citizens of leaders of their choosing.
Tambuwal, who made the remark in a statement on Tuesday, while commemorating the 2020 International Day of Democracy, said it has become very imperative to strengthen the electoral process, so as to restore public confidence in the country’s democracy.
The Sokoto Governor charged the National Assembly to immediately conclude the amendment of the Electoral Act and entrench provisions that will make manipulation of the electoral process impossible.
He added that the forthcoming Edo and Ondo governorship polls scheduled for September 19 and October 10 respectively is a test case of the preparedness of the country for democratic governance.
According to him, ‘to mark this day in Nigeria, it is important to note that the struggle for Democracy has involved sweat, blood, diplomacy, compromises and negotiations. This had traversed the whole period of pre and post independence struggle, the First, Second, Third Republics. And our current experiment since 1999.
‘In our contemporary Nigeria, many young people who did not participate in the various struggles may not undersrand the intensity of the price paid by our 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 strenghtening of our electoral infrastructure has become very urgent, if we are to restore the hope and aspiration of Nigerians that democracy still counts. Indeed the upcoming gubernatorial elections in Edo and Ondo States is a test case of our preparedness for a rule based and consent enabled governance.
‘It has become imperative to rethink the role of not just the electoral umpire, but also the activities of various security agencies in our electoral process in such a manner as to instil in them the culture of inflexible support for democracy and its practice.
‘Any electoral victory obtained other than through the legitimate votes of the people is nothing short of a coup d’etat.’