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Saturday, September 30, 2023

Electoral Flaws, Bane of Nigeria’s Democracy and Development — Bishop Ezeofor



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By Izunna Okafor, Awka

The Bishop of the Anglican Diocese of Aguata, Anambra State, The Rt. Rev. Dr. Samuel Ezeofor has described the flawed electoral process in Nigeria as the bane of the country’s democracy and development.

Bishop Ezeofor stated this in his Bishop’s Charge of the 2023 Synod of the Diocese, held at the Holy Trinity Church, Igboukwu, which was also the Third Session of the Sixth Synod of the Diocese.

According to him, the gross flaws and irregularities that marred the 2019 general election in the country and the consequent public outcry gave rise to many new provisions and innovative reform in the country’s electoral process, including the adoption of the use of technology in the accreditation of voters and electronic transmission of results, all in preparation for the 2023 polls and other subsequent elections in the country.

He, however, regretted that, against all expectation and hope, all the reforms turned out to be a fruitless and a wasted efforts, as, according to him, “the flawed process of the 2019 election has now become a child’s play with with the 2023 show of shame to the world by the impunity with which the crime crime of 2023 was brazenly committed.”

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He bemoaned the recurring electoral flaws in Nigeria since the last 24 years of her constitutional democracy, which, he said, has taken away the people’s power to freely elect their leaders without any form of inhibition, describing that as an anathema to the fundamentals of civil democratic governance. He advocated a reform that will ensure that people’s votes count in selecting their leaders, as well as restore the confidence of the masses in INEC.

Speaking further, the Anglican prelate, who hinted that operating system of a constitutional democracy is hinged on the principles of the rule of law, said that this had not been the case with Nigeria. He also argued that such antitheticality has stunted the growth of the country’s democracy and her national development.

He further called on the judiciary to live up to its reputation as the last hope of the common man and be guided by the morality of the rule of law in adjudicating electoral disputes, especially that of the 2023 Presidential Election Petition Tribunal.

The Bishop also commended Governor Chukwuma Soludo for the progress he has recorded in his one year in office, especially in the area of road infrastructure, security, human capital development, and generally, in making the state a ‘green, liveable and prosperous homeland’ as he promised in his inaugural address.

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Speaking on the theme of the Synod, “Divine Principles of Transformation 3: Stewardship”, Bishop Ezeofor said God has entrusted man with temple, territory, time, talent, truth, trust, and treasure, adding that how faithfully or unfaithfully humans manage these are determines what the society would be like, transformation wise.

“To be faithful in stewardship of these things will bring about real transformation in all areas of our personal, corporate, private, and public life. To be unfaithful in them is to keep living below the standards God appoints for us. It means to keep living under terrible situation of lower standard God expects and appoint for us,” he said.

Recounting the joy of the Diocese, Bishop Ezeofor congratulated the Director, Media and Communications of the, Diocese, Rotarian Abuchi Nwozor on his appointment the Assistant Governor of the Rotary International District 9142 for the 2023/2024 year.

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