Yakubu Dogara, a former speaker of the House of Representatives, has commended the implementation of “radical” electoral reforms by President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.
Dogara, who spoke at the 12th convocation of Achievers University in Ondo State on Saturday, singled out the Bimodal Voters Accreditation System (BVAS) that is expected to alleviate irregularities in next year’s highly anticipated elections.
His comments comes five days after defecting from the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
“As we approach the elections to choose another set of leaders, we must apply radical solutions to solving our leadership problems,” Dogara said during his address as the university’s chancellor.
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The former speaker explained that being radical meant to shun violence and vote-buying, while impressing peaceful electoral process that entailed orderliness and voting according to one’s conscience.
“In this regard, permit me to commend Mr President – President Muhammadu Buhari – for ensuring a service from my heart, radical reforms in the electoral process for votes to count, especially with regard to the use of BVAS,” the former Speaker said.
“If he follows through (with) this and walks his talk, he would bequeath on us a democratic legacy that has no parallels in Africa. I therefore say that Mr President has a date with history and he can truly be a hero for democracy if he ensures that our votes count.”
“And truly thereafter, we can now beat our chests and say, ‘We have elected leaders because our votes count and we have the leadership that we deserve. So, it may as well be a challenge to ensure that we follow through (with) the reforms and ensure that we carry them across the finish line.”
While addressing the graduands, he charged them to remember that their power is their vote, which he according to him is also their future. He urged the students not to sell their votes nor “keep it in your room.”
“You must use it. Participate by coming out massively to vote for your conscience,” he added.