The President of the Nigerian Bar Association, Mr Yakubu Maikyau, has called on legal practitioners to work towards an improvement of the democratic process in the country through an amendment of the present constitution and seek to provide for independent candidates.
The NBA president made the call on Sunday during the 19th annual Gani Fawehinmi Lecture organised by the NBA Ikeja Branch in Lagos.
Maikyau at the lecture themed, ‘A free fair and credible election: An indispensable tool for national development,’ explained that the present process through which political candidates emerge at the primaries commits fraud against citizens as it limits their electoral choices.
He said, “To ensure fair and credible elections in the forthcoming elections, we should work towards improving the democratic process in Nigeria by which we ought to ensure that we have more political parties to choose from. We can take it a notch higher by seeking to provide for an independent candidacy.
“What you have in Section 2.2.1 of the constitution and with due respect to the freedoms of that constitution is that there is a fraud being committed on the people of this country. It is fraud in the sense that we don’t pay any attention to how we produce our candidates.
“You can’t contest an election unless on the platform of a political party and we all know what goes on in these political parties so that means we don’t get the best of us to emerge as candidates for us to choose at the general elections. So whatever the primaries produce is what we are limited to in terms of our choices.”
The Lagos State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, who was represented at the event by the state Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Moyosore Onigbanjo, described the late renowned lawyer, Gani Fawehinmi, as an uncompromising hero who led the battle against military and civilian dictators and spoke for the oppressed in the society.
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