– Press Release –
We commend very highly the proposed amendment of the laws guiding the
Order of Elections starting with the 2019 general election. The
political significance and the positive democratic implication of
conducting the presidential election last as proposed cannot be
Over the years political parties especially those in opposition have
persistently canvassed for the present order that is being proposed.
Each time the Electoral Act was subjected to amendment, political
parties always seized the opportunity to demand for this type of
amendment. It is common knowledge that any party that won the
presidential election since the commencement of the present democratic
dispensation in 1999 always benefited from the bandwagon effect of
winning overwhelmingly in subsequent elections. In all cases such
party ended up dominating the National Assembly, majority of the
States and the State Assemblies in Nigeria. In this way the opposition
political parties are weakened to the extent that the State Assemblies
and National Assembly never developed outside the whims and caprices
of the ruling political party and its executive arm. The Legislature
became more rubber stamp of the Executive arm of Government.
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) with its overwhelming majority
turned down several demands for the reordering of the elections
schedule. The same scenario replicated itself, the moment the APC won
the presidential election with President Muhammadu Buhari as its
presidential candidate in 2015.
We are aware of the internal destabilization of the main fabric of the
APC which has paved the way for the successful review of the Order of
Elections especially now that most of the legislators are uncertain of
being renominated by the ruling party following their face-off with
both the presidency and their party leadership. If this is what it
will take for political parties to win election on the merit and
popularity of their candidates then our democracy and the Nigerian
people are the major beneficiaries.
We are satisfied that INEC has given an early assurance that it will
comply with the provisions of the law provided that the period
specified by the Constitution of Nigeria for such amendments to be
completed, is met.