Ben Ayade Cross River Governor wants FG to revisit 2014 conference report

Ayade noted that the 2014 conference was made up of Nigerians with proven integrity from all professional backgrounds.

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Cross River Governor, Ben Ayade play

Governor Ben Ayade

(Guardian)
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Gov. Ben Ayade of Cross River on Wednesday urged the Federal Government to revisit the report of the 2014 National Conference as part of efforts to address some election challenges in Nigeria.

The governor said this during the South South Public hearing on Constitutional and Electoral Reform organised by the Electoral Reform Committee in Calabar.

Ayade, who was represented by his deputy, Prof. Ivara Esu, noted that the 2014 conference was made up of Nigerians with proven integrity from all professional backgrounds.

“The conference had people of proven integrity and they came out with a very good document, please ensure that you consult it,” he said.

According to him, the 2014 conference report contains most of the terms of reference of the present electoral reform committee.

The governor also called for the adoption of simultaneous accreditation and voting system which was experimented during the 2016 elections in Edo and Ondo states, to avoid loss of time during elections.

Ayade said that measures must be put in place to discourage politicians from jumping from one party to another arbitrarily.

He also recommended a two-party system, where the parties had strong ideologies, for the country.

The Chairman of the committee, Sen. Ken Nnamani, in his remark, said the committee was in the zone as part of its wider consultation to seek contributions from the public on the way forward for Nigeria’s electoral system.

He acknowledged the recommendations of similar committees in the past, but said that every system was prone to improvement until a perfect one was put in place.

Nnamani described election as the live wire of any democracy, urging people of the zone to come forward and make their contributions for the advancement of the nation’s democracy and good governance.

The Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation, Mallam Abubakar Malami, said the essence of setting up the electoral reform committee was to provide good governance.

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“We cannot provide good governance if our electoral system is still weak, ‘’ he said.

Mallami, who was represented by Mr Okoi Obla, a Special Adviser to the Minister, said the Federal Government was committed to carrying out far-reaching reforms in the public service, to ensure accountability and the rule of law.

Politicians, opinion leaders and other members of the public attended the forum.

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