WHY NASS SHOULD PASS THE ELECTORIAL REFORM BILL
There is an urgent call by Nigerians across the entire ethnic, religious and social divide for the National Assembly to pass the Electoral Reform Bill forwarded to her by the Acting President Jonathan Goodluck. Like in football, for the first time in recent time Nigerians from all across the ethnic divide and different religious background has joined force with Civil Rights groups and International organization to demand the passage of the bill before the 2011 election. The campaign to actualize this reform is gathering momentum because majority of the people believes that the Electoral Reform Bill will bring credibility and transform our elections for the best.
In an interview granted the Sunday Guardian, on January 10, 2010, a legal practitioner and one of the core members of the Awolowo political school, Chief Ebenezer Babatope, who made his mark as a politician in the Second Republic and former Minister of Transport and Chieftain of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) said, 'I stand firmly on the need for urgent Electoral Reform if we are very serious about nation building. I was active as a politician in the Second Republic and I am still active in the politics of today.
Consequently, I am in a very strong position to compare situations. I believe we must have Electrical Reform in this country, we must ensure that the Nigerian voters have confidence in their ability to elect those who will govern them'.
He did not stop there, as he was wise enough to pinpoint exactly where the delay and problem lies; 'I have said it times without number that the National Assembly owns Nigeria a duty to ensure that certain recommendation on Electoral Reform are passed into law. And they must do it…'.
Speaking the mind of several other Nigerians he thundered, 'Confidence of the people in the Electoral System is very crucial to our national survival'.
Again, while sampling the opinion of leaders across the South East as regards the Electoral Reform Bill, a chat with His Royal Majesty, Igwe Alfred Nwaemeka Achebe Agbogdi, the Obi of Onitsha on behalf of the traditional institutions in Nigeria called on the National Assembly to quickly pass the Electorial Reform Bill, as it holds the key to successful election in 2011.
While chatting with His Excellency, Amba Ralph Uwucheue, Ogwaluzame of Ogwashi-Uku and National President of Ohaneze Ndigbo, the Apex Igbo body of all Igbo socio-cultural association in the world, he too called on the National Assembly to urgently look into the Electoral Reform Bill as it holds the key to our future not just as a nation towards actualizing our individual aspirations.
Hon. Chief Chike Ofodili the Former Attorney General and Chief Justice of the Federation shares same view. In a media chat with us at the place of the Obi of Onitsha were he is among few of the highly respected Council Chiefs, he said that the Electoral Reform Bill will go a long way in transforming the nation and taking us to an entire new height. To him, the Electoral Reform Bill should be one of, if not the most important issue on the table of the members of the national assembly.
Sharing the same few with Chief Chike Offodili is again Chief Ebenezer Babatope, to him the Electoral Bill should be taken seriously, quoting him in his own word, he said, 'I am sure there are many knowledgeable people in the Senate particularly, the president of the Senate, David Mark, is a very knowledgeable individual and considerable experience. I want to trust they know what they are doing.