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Oyegun Speaks On Electoral Reform Bill

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In memory of the 1993 presidential election, the former governor of Edo State and ex-national chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief John Odigie Oyegun, has appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to sign the electoral reform bill.

Oyegun, made the appeal in Abuja, after watching a screen documentary titled, ‘Sweats of Freedom, struggles for Nigeria’s democracy,’ organised by Chief Executive of Signature Communications Limited, Martins Ilo and sponsored by the Ford Foundation.

The former governor said, “I know there is no electronic system that you cannot undermine, but things should happen in such quick succession. A unit should know its result in the ward within an hour, so there is no time for somebody somewhere to start seeing whether that local government or that ward is favourable or not favourable to see if they can add few figures here and there.

“The unit count is automatic; it displays on a board the updates as the unit counts the result itself and with that, the result will be as clean as possible. It may even resolve electoral violence at the end of the day,’’ he said.

He also called on President Muhammadu Buhari to sign into law the Electoral Reform Bill to deepen the nation’s democracy, because we now have a bit of time; there is no question at all that the electoral reform bill should be looked at.

Also speaking, the Minister of Labour and Productivity, Dr Chris Ngige, said the documentary will be used as work in progress, adding that there was need to still speak to some of the major actors in the struggle to attain democracy.

The producers of the one-hour documentary, Signature Communications, said the objective of the documentary is to add to historical documents, which could serve as reference material for academics, political parties and all stakeholders in the Nigerian project.

The documentary, which starts with the 1966 coup and its assessment as impatience on the part of an immature military, makes a strong observation that the justification for military interventions, which include corruption, nepotism, intolerance and management of the economy in a manner that creates poverty, all seem to be replaying themselves in Nigeria’s present democracy.

In the screen documentary, former president, Olusegun Obasanjo, however, makes a strong case for democracy no matter what weaknesses are being thrown up. He said democracy remains the best option for governing a society and nothing can justify the change of government through the barrel of the gun.

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