Former Senate President, Ken Nnamani has decried the practice where political candidates adopt a consensus candidate for elections saying it is against the tenets of democracy.
Nnamani, who is Chairman, Governing Board of the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission, ICRC, spoke yesterday in Abuja at a one-day National Citizen Summit on Electoral Reform organised by the International Republican Institute (IRI) and the Alliance for Credible Elections (ACE) Nigeria.
He said, “Democracy is an excellent system which allows each person to have a role in determining the leader at any particular time and the weapon you use is your ballot paper. So the concept of consensus is an issue, it is not totally democratic. A situation where there are many interested candidates then you substitute the ballot box for what you call consensus and all kind of words to subvert the ballot box. It does not help. We have the freedom to make a choice of who becomes your leader, who becomes your president. That right is one of the key elements of dividends of democracy”.
Country Director of IRI, Robina Namusisi, said since coming to Nigeria in 1999, the institute has continued to support initiatives aimed at improving the country’s political and electoral processes and that a number of these initiatives like the summit have focused on providing a platform for Nigerians to dialogue, build critical consensus and make objective recommendations to relevant authorities on how best to improve political and electoral processes in the country.