Ahead of the 2019 general elections, the Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to accept in good faith the outcome of the election should he and his party, the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, fail to win the presidential contest.
Ekweremadu also urged the president to borrow a leaf from his predecessor, Goodluck Jonathan, who not only ensured free and fair election in 2015, but bowed out honourably after his defeat in 2015.
He said this while speaking at the parliament of the United Kingdom, UK, where he delivered a lecture titled, ‘African Politics: The Dynamics and Lessons.’
He recalled that, “Former President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan put Nigeria on the global map as a leading democratic nation when he put in everything to ensure a free and fair election, in which he not only lost the presidential poll as an incumbent, but also willingly conceded defeat.
“In fact, he called the incumbent President, Muhammadu Buhari, and congratulated him even before the announcement of the final results. In addition, neither former President Jonathan nor the PDP challenged the outcome of the election in court.
“Therefore, to whom much is given, much is also expected. The onus is now on President Buhari to likewise provide a level-playing ground and show uncommon statesmanship if he and his party lose the 2019 presidential election. That way, Africa’s biggest democracy will further entrench the culture of peaceful and smooth transfer of power from a ruling party to the opposition in both Nigeria and Africa.”
He further warned that, “Any attempt to manipulate the 2019 elections to the advantage of self or party will not augur well for peace and democracy not only in Nigeria, but the entire continent”.
“Important too, in the present age of technology, I will like to see the countries of Africa deploying the latest technology in voter registration, vote counting, and announcement of results.
“We must ensure that the process is sufficiently transparent and unarguably so, such that losers will see and be convinced that they lost fairly. That way, election tribunals will be eliminated,” he said.