New Electoral Act will deepen Nigeria’s democracy

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From Abel Leonard, Lafia

Hon David Ombugadu, People’s Democratic Party (PDP) candidate for governor in Nasarawa State, has said  the new Electoral Act signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari will deepen democracy and ensure fairness in Nigeria’s electoral processes.

Ombugadu made the remark Wednesday in an interview with reporters at his country home in Akwanga Local Government Area of the state.

Daily Sun reports that the Electoral Act, among other changes, makes provision for a Central Electronic Voter Database where a register of voters shall be kept in electronic format to promote transparency and effectiveness in Independent National Electoral Commission’s (INEC) record keeping, and tracking the number of registered voters who will vote in the upcoming election.

Ombugadu said he was excited with the signing into law of the new Electoral Act which he said has brought hope and enthusiasm to many Nigerians hence the flurry of interests for registration for a Permanent Voters Card across the country to be eligible to vote in the upcoming 2023 general elections.

He revealed that he also would not have shown interest in recontesting the Nasarawa state Governorship election which he lost to Governor Abdullahi Sule in 2019 had the new Act not been passed into law because the former one did not have adequate provisions to checkmate illegality in electoral processes in the country.

“I was one of the persons in the forefront for the new Electoral Act to be passed into law. We lobbied. We consulted with relevant local and international organizations towards ensuring this new Electoral Act is giving life because we were victims of the 2019 elections,” the candidate stated.

“I vowed that without acceding to the new Electoral Act, I will not participate in this election. So one of the reason why I am participating is because of the new Electoral Act signed into law by the president,” he said.

Ombugadu praised President Buhari for having the courage and the foresight to sign the Act into law so as to promote and deepen democracy in Nigeria.

“I must give it to him. He has given us the best legacy that will promote and deepen democracy in Nigeria. So I believe that the era of faking ballot papers to houses to go and thumb print is over.

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“The only best way people can participate is just to register and I have noticed a lot of people are registering because of their own confidence in the new Electoral Act.

“I want to use this opportunity to also encourage the people of Nasarawa state and the whole Nigeria who are yet to register to go and do so. This time, nobody will steal your votes,” he said.

The gubernatorial candidate expressed confidence in the new Electoral Act, assuring that he would win the 2023 Governorship election in Nasarawa state because of his alleged massive popularity across the state and the provisions of the Act limiting rigging in elections in the country.

He added that aside his huge popularity, he had the support of critical stakeholders in the PDP in the state who according to him, have all pledged to work for the victory of PDP in the upcoming general elections in the state in 2023.

“I want to assure you that all critical stakeholders are with me 100 percent including my co contestants at the PDP Governorship primaries. That shows that for the first time in the history of politics in this state, all major contenders and stakeholders have agreed to work together” he said.

He assured that if voted to govern the state, his administration will adopt an open door policy whereby major stakeholders are constantly engaged to have an input in government policies and decisions.

“People from different parts of the state will be attended to according to their needs and will have a voice on how their needs are attended to,. So it’s going to be an inclusive leadership,” he said.

Regarding his choices of running mate, he said he picked Hon Yahaya Usman-Ohinoyi, a former two term Nasarawa State House of Assembly member, after due consultations with relevant stakeholders in the party and because he needed a running mate with a wealth of experience.

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