By; MATTHEW UKACHUNWA, Lagos
There is an urgent need to rebuild Nigeria’s electoral processes and institution’s through the implementation of Uwais Electoral Report, a human rights lawyer has said.
Mr. Collins Okeke, Senior Legal/Programme Officer at Human Rights Law Service (HURILAWS) made the assertion while highlighting the shortcomings of the 2019 general elections.
“The Uwais Report contains viable recommendations that can transform Nigeria’s elections,” Okeke stated in a document titled: Rebuilding Nigeria’s Electoral Processes and Institutions Using The Justice Uwais Report.
He identified four major issues that characterized the 2019 general elections, namely: the apparent inability of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to deliver on its mandate; slow and cumbersome procedure of voting and collation of election results; and the lack of confidence in election conflict management processes and Institutions.
He said there is need to improve Nigeria’s political parties. “The results of the elections released by INEC did not reflect the huge number of political parties that participated,” Okeke pointed out.
He stressed that 71 political parties garnered three per cent of total votes, while All Progressives Congress (APC) and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) got the rest.
According to Okeke, there is no doubt that political parties have become rent seekers extracting value for their existence.
He declared: “The Uwais Report tried to address. this mischief by incentivizing genuine political parties.The Uwais Report recommended a combination of proportionat representation and the majoritan rule of representation at federal, state and local levels.”
Okeke also wrote about the importance of modernising Nigeria’s voting and collation processes and restoring confidence
In the election tribunals.
The Report of the Electoral Reform Commission Committee otherwise known as the Justice Uwais Report, Okeke recollected, was produced by a 22-member Electoral Reform Committee set up by the federal government in the aftermath of the 2007 general elections.
The committee was chaired by Justice Mohammed Lawal Uwais (retd), and was charged with examining “the entire electoral process with a view to ensuring that we raise the quality and standard of our general elections thereby deepening our democracy,” the HURILAWS chief stated.