Ex-President Jonathan Calls For End To Off-cycle Elections

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As governorship elections are simultaneously holding in Bayelsa, Kogi and Imo States on Saturday, former President Goodluck Jonathan has called on the National Assembly to amend the 1999 Constitution to put an end to the off-season exercise.
He said this while speaking to journalists after casting his ballot at Polling Unit 39, Ward 13, Otuoke, in Ogbia Local Government Area of Bayelsa State, on Saturday.
“Let me congratulate the three states that had elections today; Bayelsa state, Imo State and Kogi State. But, basically because this is an off season election, I get worried about the issue of off-season elections.
“I’ll use this unique opportunity to plead with the National Assembly that we need to block this off-season election.
He described the exercise as “odd” and “not a global best practice.”
LEADERSHIP reports that an off-cycle election is an electoral exercise taking place outside the timeframe of the general election.
“A country can elect their people at different times like America, they may not elect at the same time but every time they go on to do elections, they elect everybody that is meant to be elected. If we continue with this trend of off-season elections based on the interpretation of our laws, it will come to a time that the Presidential election will be off season probably that’s the time that a lot of you media people should be worried.
“Look at the American system, everybody knows when the America elections will be conducted, that’s the standard practice of other countries. When I say Nigerian Presidential election may be off season some day, some people will say how? why? It almost happened in 2007 when I contested as a running mate to President Yar’Adua. You know that election, the seven justices that presided over the case, three of them, in their own judgment, said that the election be annulled, four of them sustained it and that is why we stayed, if one had crossed over, by now the presidential election will be off-season and it is not the best for a country.
“These 7 states with off-season elections can be migrated back to fall in line with the other states. The National Assembly can do that, that is my message for the National Assembly and for Nigerians today,” the former President stated.


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