‘Elections not democracy, if votes of citizens don’t count,’ says Jonathan

[By VICTOR NZE]

Former President, Goodluck Jonathan has reiterated his call for the adoption of electronic voting, in order to give credibility to democracy in the country, the sub-region as well as in Africa.

Jonathan, who made the call while speaking at the just-concluded The Osasu Show Symposium, which held under the theme; ‘Rethinking Africa,’ added that it had become imperative for the electoral offences commission to check electoral fraud.

The symposium aired, Wednesday, via selected media channels across as well as social media, TOS TV mobile app, radio stations attracted millions of participants. This is the fourth edition of the TOS symposium.

The former president stated via his Twitter handle, @GEJonathan, restated his position on democracy as practiced in Africa, maintained that the power should always be with the electorate, adding that if tht was not the case, then there is no democracy.

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“I stated that the power the people wield through the ballot paper is the most critical component of democracy. I also re-echoed the necessity of an electoral offences commission to check electoral fraud,” Jonathan said.

Continuing, he said: “To me, if Africa will move forward it is not just about routine conducts of elections. This year alone in West Africa made up of 15 states, we have five states that had elections.

“So in terms of regular elections, we are progressing, but are these elections credible? Are they representing a constructional democratic setting is the issue.

“Regular elections, fine, but elections per se is not democracy. If the votes of the citizens don’t count, then it is as good as military dictatorship. So, from me, the reforms first get to us making the vote counts.

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“And taking a critical examination about the way elections are being conducted across the continent at least from the ones I’ve observed, I’ve seen that the only thing that we must do to get there is through electronic voting.

“People may feel, yes someone could manipulate, smart boys who can hack into the system and do all kinds of things, yes, but still people still use electronic system to move hundreds of millions of dollars across the world. So, I still believe very sincerely that that is the way to go.”

Osasu Igbinedion, founder and chief executive of TOS TV Network, said this year’s edition of the event themed “Rethinking Africa” is aimed at ‘fostering dialogue that culminates to social change, promotes inclusivity, formulation of economic policies and programmes which would translate to perceptible and enduring socio-economic development for Africans, as renowned African leaders are poised to participate actively in the Symposium.’

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