Esele advocates permanent date for elections in the country’s calendar.
A former National chairman of Trade Union congress of Nigeria,,TUC, and a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Edo, Mr Peter Esele, has advocated for permanent, irreversible dates for elections in the nation’s calendar.
The renowned unionist who was a governorship aspirant of the party said elections dates should be constant like that of the Independence Day which is observed on every Oct. 1.
He told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that it was wrong of INEC to tinker with election dates and fixing them indiscriminately.
INEC recently rolled out an adjustment timetable for the 2023 general election.
Prof. Mahmoud Yakubu, announced that the Presidential and National Assembly elections would take place on Feb. 25, 2023, instead of Feb. 18 announced earlier by the Commission.
Reacting to the new date, Esele declared: “we can’t be having elections dates tampered with. No.
“If we have fixed dates, then political parties will also follow suit concerning delegates’ conferences and primaries.
“In other parts of the world, these things are fixed. You don’t dilly-dally or tinker with such dates.
“Everyone works and plans with such dates.
“When you start playing with dates, you create room for distrust; you create room for lack of transparency and also manipulation of the process.
“INEC should move beyond dropping and changing dates.’’
Esele also commending Buhari for signing the Electoral Act as amended into law and stressed that INEC should regard the new Act as an opportunity to improve on its processes.
He noted that areas of contentions had been addressed.
“I think gradually with the Electoral Act, we are raising the bar for a fair electoral process.
“Hopefully, we will no longer have cases in court for years and courts will no longer decide our elections,’’ he said.
Speaking on amendments to the Constitution at the National Assembly, Esele opined that personal interests were involved.
He decried any attempt by the National Assembly to include immunity clause for its principals in the Constitution as enjoyed by presidents, governors and their deputies.
Esele said while the Executive has fixed tenure of maximum of eight years at a stretch, lawmakers could remain in office for as long as they kept winning elections and should, therefore, not be entitled to Constitutional immunity.