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Gov AbdulRazaq Calls for Strict Adherence to Electoral Act in Choosing Party Flag Bearers

Kwara State governor, AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq, has called on the political parties in the country to adhere strictly to the provisions of the Electoral Act 2022 in pockimg their candidates for the 2023 general elections.

AbdulRazaq, who pointed out that there are new provisions in the Electoral Act that are revolutionary, warned that non-adherence to the provisions of the Act “could undo whatever efforts of any political party or candidate if we run foul of them”.

The governor who was represented by his deputy, Mr Kayode Alabi, spoke at a one-day capacity building seminar on the new Electoral Act 2022 for political office holders aspiring for elective offices, held in Ilorin, the state capital, today.

He, urged government appointees eyeing elective offices in the state to go through the new electoral Act because ignorance is not an excuse in law.

“It is on this note that I send my best wishes to all our appointees who are leaving to contest for elective offices. That is in the spirit of Section 84 (12) of the Act.

Whatever happens at the primaries, please remember that this is one family and everyone belongs in the room.

“To win the 2023 election, all of us must recommit ourselves to the whole essence and spirit of Otoge. We must remind ourselves always that Kwara cannot go back to the era where the destiny of our people was tied to some single individual. We may disagree as progressives. That is normal. But we must never lose focus of the burden of history. To that extent, I call for unity, peaceful conduct, discipline, fairness, selflessness, and respect for rule of law as we go into our primaries,” AbdulRazaq added.

A guest lecturer at the workshop, Roland Otaru SAN, reminded politicians that all the sections of the Electoral Act, 2022 are all important and must be compiled with.

He also reminded them that the proper conduct of a primary election is a ‘sine qua non’ in a democracy.

“Let me point out very strongly that if the primary election is not properly handled, the loss of a party springs from the conduct of a primary election. The reason for this is not far-fetched. Some party stalwarts usually referred to as ‘god-fathers’ impose candidates on the electorate. This does not augur well for the sustainability of our democratic ethos and pathos. This is why the Electoral Act, 2022 makes the provisions for the conduct of party primaries under Sections 82-85 of the Electoral Act, 2022”, Otaru said.

In his lecture, titled, “My thoughts on internal democracy within a political party in Nigeria,” Prof Hassan Saliu, said that internal democracy is important for democracy to be well entrenched in the country, adding that, “without internal democracy within a political party, hardly can the content of national democracy be manifest”.

Saliu, who is the president of the Political Science Association of Nigeria, said all the three models recommended for selection of candidates in the 2022 electoral Act are democratic.

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