Senator Bassey reveals what Electoral Act Will achieve
The Senator Representing Akwa Ibom North-East (Uyo) Senatorial District, Senator Obong Albert Bassey Akpan, has observed that the recently enacted electoral act that was signed by President Muhammadu Buhari into law would deepen internal democracy among political parties in the country.
Akpan, who is the chairman of Senate Committee on Petroleum Resources (Upstream), noted that the law would also guarantee increased participation in future elections.
The senator, who is aspiring to be the governor of Akwa Ibom State under the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) come 2023, also bared his mind on the electoral act as amended while answering questions from journalists in Uyo, last weekend.
He described President Buhari as a true democrat for yielding to the yearnings of Nigerians by assenting to the amended electoral act despite pressure from some quarters.
“The President is a true democrat. We have used the old electoral act for two elections. The recent review was necessary because of the need to address critical issues from the past elections.
“Some of these issues were not provided for by the law. Hence the President has signed the new act that will go a long way in enhancing the transparency of the election process.
“Political parties now have a clear mandate of choosing between direct, indirect and consensus approach in the nomination of candidates who will represent them at the polls,” Senator Akpan declared.
On the consensus candidacy as enshrined in the new law, Senator Akpan said the law would make the process more participatory and transparent.
He explained that all candidates seeking an elective office must append their signatures to adopt any consensus position before ratification by delegates.
He noted that where a political party cannot secure written consent of all cleared aspirants for the emergence of a consensus candidate, the law mandated the party to revert to the choice of direct or indirect primaries for the nomination of a candidate for the desired office.
Reflecting on voters’ apathy, which he said has marred previous elections in the country, the lawmaker posited that a free and credible nomination process is critical towards mitigating the effect of voter apathy in future elections.
“Voter apathy usually emanates from the process that produces candidates in different political parties. The new electoral act will enhance transparency in our electoral processes.
“The burden is now on political parties to do their best in advancing internal democracy. I believe that the coming elections will witness increased voter turnout because of the reforms we will see because of the new law,” he stressed.