President Buhari and Ike Ekweremadu
While speaking at the UK parliament, where he delivered a lecture titled ‘African Politics: The Dynamics and Lessons’, the deputy senate president, Ike Ekweremadu, has advised President Muhammadu Buhari to let go of power if he loses in 2019.
The influential lawmaker advised President Buhari to take a cue from former President Goodluck Jonathan who lost an election but accepted it in good faith, addling that the president should be conscious of the fact that Nigeria is playing pivotal and strategic roles in Africa.
Uche Anichukwu, spokesman of Ekweremadu, quoted him as saying, “Former President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan put Nigeria on the global map as a leading democratic nation when he put in everything to ensure a free and fair election, in which he not only lost the presidential poll as an incumbent, but also willingly conceded defeat,”
“In fact, he called the incumbent President, Muhammadu Buhari, and congratulated him even before the announcement of the final results. In addition, neither former President Jonathan nor the PDP challenged the outcome of the election in court.
“Therefore, to whom much is given, much is also expected. The onus is now on President Buhari to likewise provide a level-playing ground and show uncommon statesmanship if he and his party lose the 2019 presidential election.
“That way, Africa’s biggest democracy will further entrench the culture of peaceful and smooth transfer of power from a ruling party to the opposition in both Nigeria and Africa.”
Ekweremadu warned Buhari of the consequences of “manipulating” the 2019 election, advising him to spearhead a free and fair election, adding that African countries should harness technological advantage in the whole electoral process.
“Any attempt to manipulate the 2019 elections to the advantage of self or party will not augur well for peace and democracy not only in Nigeria, but the entire continent,” he said.
“Important too, in the present age of technology, I will like to see the countries of Africa deploying the latest technology in voter registration, vote counting, and announcement of results.
“We must ensure that the process is sufficiently transparent and unarguably so, such that losers will see and be convinced that they lost fairly. That way, election tribunals will be eliminated.”
He also criticised African leaders who choose to hold on to power at the expense of the people.
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