Tinubu vs Atiku, Obi: What Nigeria must do to have credible elections – Robert Clark
Elder statesman, Robert Clark, has revealed three things
Nigeria must do to have credible elections going forward.
During an appearance on Arise TV morning show on Tuesday,
Clark said Nigeria needs to look at its constitution and get rid of the element
of do or die, restriction of an individual into the governance of the country
and the tolerance of the people in relation to religion and ethnicity.
Recall that Nigeria recently held Presidential,
Governorship, National Assembly and State House of Assembly elections.
Some political parties rejected some election results
declared by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), especially
the Presidential poll.
The 2023 Presidential candidate of the All Progressives
Congress, APC, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, won the election, beating close rivals, the
Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Atiku Abubakar,
and his Labour Party (LP) counterpart, Mr. Peter Obi.
Atiku and Obi have since headed to the courts to challenge
However, Clark maintained that until Nigeria removes these
three things, the nation can never have it right during the conduct of
elections, adding that even when Nigeria has five more elections in another 15
years, it will never get it right because there will be chaos.
Clark said, “The Nigerian factor is not only the law but it
is also the people. In other African countries, we do have scam issues. Scam
issues are still going on in Kenya as of today. But let us look at one thing
clearly, the Nigerian constitution is the failure Nigerians have been sad about
for the past 23 years.
“This constitution that allows an election to start and
restricts an individual from being part of the election unless he becomes a
member of a political party is not good for this country. Whereas the laws say
every Nigerian has an equal right to vote and that every vote of Nigerians
“However, the same constitution now says that if you are
able to present yourself as a candidate at an election even if you don’t belong
to a political party, therefore, if you are not a member of a political party,
you cannot contest an election. You can see the enormous power the constitution
has given to a political party and that is the base of the problem we now have
“You will now find that any Nigerian who takes over a
political party automatically takes control of governance. That is the number
one principle. And now you find the do or die becomes part of Nigeria’s system
because the constitution allows you and I, who have been voted into power, to
steal as much as we want and do as much as we want.
“Therefore, one has to look at the constitution so that the
element of do or die, the element of restriction of the individual into the
governance of the country and the tolerance of the people in relation to
religion, ethnicity are eroded from a way of life. Until we remove these three
things, we can never have it right in Nigeria. When we had about seven
elections and none have been credible, let’s be honest.”
“If we have five more elections in 15 years time, we will
never make it because the element of being a Nigerian, the element of fighting
do or die and taking over control of power, if not removed, we would still get
the same result. There will be confusion. There will be chaos,” he added.
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