June 25, 2024

Central News

at the center of it

Election petitions verdict: Dons ask citizens to look beyond presidency

At least two dons have urged citizens to engage councilors, local government chairmen, and others on good governance.
They were reacting to the judgment of the Presidential Election Petition Court (PEPC), saying citizens should re-direct their energy to demanding for good governance from other elected officials, not just at the presidency.
The academics gave the advice in separate interviews on Sunday, saying it was time for citizens to focus on LG councilors, council chairmen, lawmakers, and governors, by demanding for good governance.
History teacher at Kaduna State University Godwin Kwalbe notes that democracy does not revolve around the president’s office alone.
According to Kwalbe, citizens need to realise that there is more to democracy than the presidential election, the legal battle and who occupies the office of the president.
“Our councilors, council chairmen, lawmakers and our governors must be held accountable to deliver the dividends of democracy at the local and state levels” also.
The History lecturer says the judgment of the PEPC should not distract Nigerians from demanding for good governance from their other elected representatives at the other levels of government.
He says that energy spent discussing the outcome of the tribunal judgment should be redirected to local governance, by calling on elected chairmen and governors to improve on service delivery.
According to him, this will ensure transparency, accountability and good governance needed at those levels.
“Our political system gives too much power to the Federal Government and the office of the President, thereby attracting peoples’ attention to the centre at the expense of local governance.
“Also, the politics of winner-takes-all, has made the presidential election in the country more competitive and the epicenter of Nigeria’s political struggle.
“This shows that we need restructuring to reduce the pressure that piles up at times like this. The idea of seeking for redress after swearing-in is a problem that needs to be looked into,” Kwalbe said.
He advises review the Electoral Act, to ensure all litigations are concluded before swearing in elected officials.
“You should not swear someone into office and then go on to question the process that brought him to the office: that is a distraction.
“We are aware that it is not easy to unseat a sitting president via the court that can be easily compromised, especially in our political experience that gives too much power to the president,” the lecturer said.
His colleague Mrs. Vivian Inyang-Otoba, of the Department of History and International Relations, Veritas University, Abuja, also urged Nigerians to embrace the outcome of the judgment and look forward to a better Nigeria.
Inyang-Otoba said that while the litigation continued at the Supreme Court, citizens should not fold their arms, but engage the governance process and hold their elected representatives accountable.
According to her, governance has not come to a stand still because of the on-going presidential election debate, as such, people should ask questions and demand for delivery of quality services.