Sen. Magnus Abe, former representative of the Rivers South-East Senatorial District at the National Assembly has advocated the need for Nigerians to support the passage of the Electoral Act by members of the National Assembly.
Sen. Abe made the call during a courtesy visit on the Natural and Paramount Ruler of Barako Ancient Community, His Royal Highness (Mene), Comrade, Kadilo Kabari (Gbere Doo-mee VII & Menebon Barako) over the weekend at Barako in Gokana Local Government Area of Rivers State.
The Ogoni-born politician insisted that the anticipated signing of the Electoral Act by President Muhammadu Buhari will end all shortcuts to power and indeed return power to the people.
He went further to say that ultimately the process of INEC supervised direct primaries will reduce cost of organizing elections in Nigeria.
Abe said: “Elections are not expensive; it is the behaviour of people that destroyed the electoral process in our country that has made elections become expensive.
“This electoral Act, if signed by Mr. President will give Nigeria a new beginning and new opportunities for Nigerians to actually reap the dividends of democracy because there would be no shortcut to power anymore.”
Abe said: “The elections are expensive in our country today because all those who should take part in the process, all those who are expected to support the process are the ones working against it.
Ordinarily, election is a clerical job. All you need is a Polling Clerk, Presiding Officer and Party Agents and they will conduct an election that will produce the kind of result that will be difficult to contest in Court if we allow them to work.
“But, when those who should take part in the process are the ones hiring buses, planning thuggery, bringing Police and Army, all these contribute to make the election process to be expensive, cumbersome and disputed.
The Senator who was also a member of the 7th and 8th Senate insisted that a credible electoral process in Nigeria will change the attitude of politicians.
He said: “When politicians know that their fate in an election will be dependent on the people’s vote, they will behave differently. INEC supervised direct primaries is the way to go.”
“Earlier, the Barako Monarch thanked the Senator for the visit as well as his tremendous impact via many developmental projects in Barako Community with the most recent being the FERMA road entering the community and the NDDC casted road leading to the Community Secondary School and Health Centre.
Mene Kadilo Kabari congratulated Senator Abe on his conferment as MENE SUANU 1 OF OGONI by the Chairman of the Supreme council of Ogoni Traditional Rulers, King Godwin Gininwa.