The National Association of Seadogs (Pyrates Confraternity) has challenged President Muhammadu Buhari and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to copy the recent successful election in Kenya which produce Dr. William Ruto as the President to deliver a credible 2023 elections.
It also tasks the judiciary, political parties, candidates, security agents, and Nigerians to play their various roles as part of efforts to deepen democracy in the country.
The NAS Capoon, Mr. Abiola Owoaje in a statement entitled: ‘Sanctity of the Ballot: Lessons from Kenya’ stated that stakeholders in Nigeria’s electoral process should draw lessons from the entire electoral process in Kenya including the legal battle to give Nigeria transparent free and fair elections devoid of controversy.
“On all accounts, the National Association of Seadogs (Pyrates Confraternity) is convinced that there are useful lessons Nigeria should learn from Kenya as it prepares for the 2023 general elections. The outcome of the elections in Kenya offers a pathway for Nigeria’s Judiciary, President Muhammadu Buhari, the political parties, the Independent National Electoral Commission, (INEC), the security agencies, and Nigerians to have a hitch-free 2023 general elections,” he said.
Owoaje who pointed out the commendable efforts of Kenya’s apex Court headed by Chief Justice Martha Koome in resolving the impasse over the presidential results lamented that Nigerians have not been impressed with the conduct of the Nigerian judiciary in political-related cases.
He, therefore, called on the judiciary to stand firm as the third tripod in democracy to “reinforce the integrity of the Bench as the bastion of democracy against electoral fraud.”
According to him the “patriotic and courageous conduct” displayed by Kenyan electoral commission Chairman, Wafula Chebukati and two other members are what Nigerians expect from Prof Mahmood Yakubu-led INEC.
He implored INEC to ensure Nigerians are kept abreast of the actual number in the voters’ register, and the number of PVCs collected, to consolidate on the use of technology in voting while weeding out compromised electoral officials that seek to stain the integrity of the commission.
Owoaje tasks President Buhari with neutrality in the election process adding that Nigerians hold him to his words to “entrench a process of free, fair and transparent and credible elections through which Nigerians elect leaders of their choice”
He also called on security agencies to steer clear of actions that would undermine the electoral process and enjoin political parties and candidates to restrain their members and supporters from hate speeches and fake news.
“Political parties, the candidates, and their supporters have huge lessons to learn from Kenya. We expect political parties and candidates to take the responsibility to run issue-based campaigns and restrain their members and supporters from acts capable of truncating the democratic process. The dissemination of hate speeches and fake information about political opponents with the intention to discredit the electoral process are dangerous trends that threaten the democratic process and should be discouraged.
“There is an inspiration in the outcome of Kenya’s Presidential elections for Nigerians as they prepare for the 2023 elections. The victory of Ruto against all odds, especially the fierce opposition from former President Kenyatta, has shown that an entrenched political establishment and dynasty can be dismantled by the collective will of the people. We call on Nigerians to get their Permanent Voters Card (PVCs), come out to vote for candidates of their choice, and ensure through legitimate means that their will prevails. Every Nigerian has a shared role to play to guarantee credible elections in 2023, “he said.