Reps restates commitment to reforming electoral system

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr Yakubu Dogara, has restated the commitment of the 8th National Assembly to reforming the country’s electoral system.

Dogara restated this when he received a delegation of the Save Democracy Group Africa (SDG-Africa), a civil society group in Abuja.

The Speaker, who hailed the activities of civil society groups in the country, said they oiled the machinery of democracy.

“It is always the voices of civil society and labour unions that work hard and make democracy function. That is what ensures that no matter how bad it gets, it will be alright with time.

“With constant engagement of people, democracy corrects itself, unlike other forms of government.

“So many people believe that human progress, including the progress of democracy is inevitable, but it is not.

“I can say that eternal vigilance is the price of liberty, free people are always vigilant.

“That is why democracies all over the world are all noisy. If you find a situation all over the world where the people are not noisy, then it is not a democracy that they are practicing.

“So, if democracy is to deliver, there will always be groups like this that will talk about issues, who will not just sit and articulate action plans, but engage in advocacy.

“Advocacy ensures that things are implemented because in most cases government does not react immediately to issues that are raised.

“But if you keep hitting at a point even if it is as hard as a flint or a rock, you are bound to crack it’’, Dogara said.

He thanked the group for their recommendations on electoral matters to the House.

He assured that the House, through its relevant committees, will work on the resolutions during its work on the Electoral Act.

The Acting Chairman, Governing Council of SDG-Africa, Alhaji Ghali Na’Abba, said the group planned to organise a roundtable in Abuja to ex-ray political developments in Africa.

The event, with the theme “Presidential Constitutional Term Limits and the Future of African Democracy’’, is one of the annual Nelson Mandela International Roundtables on Political Developments in Africa series.

Dogara is expected to present a paper on “The Legislature, Constitution Review Process and Term Limits Extension.”

 

NAN/Nnenna.O