Atiku Abubakar, former vice-president, says he will continue
to fight for the nation’s democracy.
Speaking at a press conference in Abuja on Monday, he hinted
that he will remain active in politics.
Abubakar has unsuccessfully aspired to be Nigeria’s
president multiple times. He was on the ballot three times — 2007, 2019 and
By the next general election in 2027, Abubakar will be 81
“As for me and my party, this phase of our work is done.
However, I am not going away,” he said at the press conference, his first since
the supreme court affirmed President Bola Tinubu’s election.
“For as long as I breathe, I will continue to struggle, with
other Nigerians, to deepen our democracy and rule of law and for the kind of
political and economic restructuring the country needs to reach its true
“That struggle should now be led by the younger generation
of Nigerians who have even more at stake than my generation.”
ABUBAKAR ADVOCATES ELECTORAL, JUDICIAL REFORMS
Abubakar, who was the presidential candidate of the Peoples
Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2023 election, proposed several ways the nation
can improve its electoral system.
He said there is a need to “urgently make constitutional
amendments that will prevent any court or tribunal from hiding behind
technicalities and legal sophistry to affirm electoral heists and undermine the
will of the people”.
He said the country must make electronic voting and
collation of results mandatory, insisting that they are key to free and fair
“This is the 21st
century and countries less advanced than Nigeria are doing so already. It is
only bold initiatives that transform societies,” he said.
The former vice-president said all litigation arising from a
disputed election must be concluded before the inauguration of a winner.
He also proposed a single six-year term for the president,
saying it must be rotated among the six geopolitical zones. Abubakar said the
development would “reduce the desperation of incumbents and distractions from
governing and also to promote equity and national unity”.
He said the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC)
should be mandated to verify the credentials submitted by candidates and their
parties and where it is unable to do so, must publicly disclose so and have it
Abubakar said there should also be a publicly available
annual evaluation of the performance of judges using agreed criteria.
“By improving the transparency of the electoral process and
reducing the incentives to cheat, in addition to transparency in the appointment
of judges and other judicial reforms, the number of election petitions as well
as corruption in the judiciary will be significantly reduced,” he said.
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