Nigeria’s former President, Goodluck Jonathan has called on the National Assembly for the cancelation of off-season elections in the country stating that it is not in line with global best practice.
Jonathan made the call in Otuoke, Bayelsa State, while fielding questions from journalists after casting his ballot.
The former president said if the trend of off-season election is permitted in the country, there would come a time Nigerian Presidential Election may become off-season as well.
According to him: “We need to block this Off-season election. A very odd, it is not the best global practice. A country can elect their people at different times like the Americans but anytime they go into the election, they elect everybody.
“If we continue with this trend of Off-season elections based on the interpretation of our laws by judicial officers, we will come to a time the presidential election in Nigeria may be off-season. That will be the time that the media would be worried. Look at the Americans everybody knows when the American elections hold that is standard practice.
“When i said the presidential election in Nigeria may be off season, some people may ask why or how? It almost happen in 2007 when I contested as running mate to late President Yar’Adua. You know that election, the seven Justices that presided over the case, three of them in their own judgement said that the election be annuled.
“Four of them sustained the election and that is why we stayed. If one had crossed over, by now the Presidential election in Nigeria would have been off-season election and it is not the best for a country. There are easy things to do to make sure we stop this. Now we have seven States that are Off-season, we need to stop there. And where possible, the seven states too can be migrated back in line with other States and the national Assembly can do that.That is my message for the National Assembly and message for Nigerians today.
“I wish the election is successful. I have been monitoring what is happening in Bayelsa State, I have people across the local govenrments. For now there is no major thing that we would get worried about apart from parts of Nembe local government because i am part of Nembe local government that have been in conflict quite sometime before the election.
“Apart from that, I think the election is going on well but we cannot conclude until the end of the voting”.
Jonathan however congratulated the candidates and prayed for a sucessful and peaceful election in all the three states.
Hafsoh Isiaq is a graduate of Linguistics. An avid writer committed to creative, high-quality research and news reportage. She has considerable experience in writing and reporting across a variety of platforms including print and online.