There's no democracy if votes don't count — Atiku

He also joined Jonathan and Fayose in calling for an electoral reform.

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

/ by National Pivot

Former vice president Alhaji Atiku Abubakar has called for a peaceful poll ahead of the Edo State Governorship Election on September 19th, 2020. He said unless the safety of voters is assured, and their votes count, it is no longer a democracy.

Atiku who stated this in a Facebook post, also like former president Goodluck Jonathan, advocated for an electoral reform as a sure way to deepen the nation's democracy.

He said, "The democracy that we enjoy today was bought at a great price. We can only deepen and sustain it by respecting the sanctity of the ballot and necessary review of our electoral processes.

"As the great people of Edo State go to the polls to elect their governor this weekend, they need to be provided with a secured environment to cast their votes and be assured that their votes will count.

"I urge all duly registered voters of conscience and who truly care about the wellbeing of Edo to turn out enmasse to cast and defend their vote for Governor Obaseki."

Jonathan had in a statement during a presidential panel of the Osasu Show Symposium 2020, advocated for the use of electronic voting. He said at a time politicians are more desperate to win elections, the most reasonable way to achieve a credible election, where the votes of the masses truly counts, is through electronic voting.

He said, “To me, if Africa especially will move forward, it is not just about routine conducts of elections. This year alone in West Africa made up of 15 states, we have five states that had elections. “So, in terms of regular elections, we are progressing, but are these elections credible? If they are representing a constitutional democratic setting is the issue.

“Regular elections, fine, but elections per se is not democracy. If the votes of the citizens don’t count, then it is as good as a military dictatorship. So for me, the reforms should first make votes count.

“And taking a critical examination at the way elections are conducted across the continent at least from the once I’ve observed, I’ve seen that the only way that we can get there is through electronic voting.

“People may feel, yes, someone could manipulate the system, get smart boys who can hack into the system and do all kinds of things, yes, but still people use electronic system to move hundreds of millions of dollars across the world. So, I still believe very sincerely that that is the way to go.”

Speaking in support of the need to change the nation's electoral process, Fayose in an Instagram Live Chat with the Chief Executive Officer, Ovation Media Group, Dele Momodu, said the only way to avoid voting in leaders like president Muhammadu Buhari, is to address the current system which for years, has been manipulated against the wish of the people.

He said, "If they don’t address the electoral process in this country, we are going nowhere. When the government begins to fear the people, things will change."

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