By John Ikani
As Nigeria’s National Assembly continue foot-dragging on electoral reforms, particularly on amendment of the outmoded Electoral Act 2010, anti-corruption activist, Hamzat Lawal has called on all Nigerians to become politicians, stressing that it is about time Nigerians “stopped leaving politics for politicians.”
Mallam Hamzat made the call on Sunday in Abuja while speaking at an electoral reform summit organized by Ready to Lead Africa with the theme: Attaining Credible Electoral Legacy and hashtags #Honorjune12, #PassElectoralReforms.
“I think we all need to be politicians because I’m sick and tired of people saying leave politics for politicians or those politicians. They are humans who have one head like everyone else,” said Hamzat.
According to the Founder of Follow The Money, all Nigerians, especially young people must get involved in politics ahead of 2023 with a view to ensuring the emergence of tech-savy and innovative leaders.
“Some of us don’t want to run. Some of us are happy to lead civic movements but you know, if someone wants to run and you believe his idea, support him financially or his campaign as a volunteer. It will go a long way.
“As young people let us play this politics, and I believe we will play it better. We will bring innovations and technology. Let’s play it!
While calling on Nigerians to embark on tireless campaign for electoral reforms, Hamzat urged citizens to take a cue from sustained efforts that led to passage of the Not Too Young To Run Bill into law in 2018.
“We should learn from the Not Too Young To Run campaign because lawmakers won’t just sign the Electoral Reform Act into law because you have fine faces.
“We gave the National Assembly ultimatum, we gave the president ultimatum and we followed through with our different campaigns before the Not Too Young To Run Bill was signed into law.
What you should know
After two decades of uninterrupted civil rule in Nigeria, the many aspects of the nation’s electoral process yearning for reviews and reforms are left unattended to.
The report of the amendment to the Electoral Act 2010 after more than two months of being laid before the House of Representatives, as reported in the Punch newspaper publication of 16th May 2021, is yet to be considered by the eminent members of the hallowed green chamber.
However, It is gratifying to note that there is a ray of hope as the Senate President, Dr Ahmed Lawan, promised to assiduously work on the bill after the Sallah break with the belief that the House of Representatives will follow suit, thereafter ensuring the onward transmission to the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria for his assent. Then, it becomes an Act.
About Ready To Lead Africa #Honorjune12, #PassElectoralReforms Summits
The electoral reform summit held at Transcorp Hilton Abuja FCT on Sunday brought together stakeholders from the political, civic, traditional, development, diplomatic and academic space to discuss and analyse the impact of the June 12 legacy on Nigeria and the expected gains Nigerians stand to benefit once electoral reform is achieved.
The end goals of the summits – which will also hold at Five Cowries Terminal Falomo Lagos on June 20th 6pm GMT – is to have all the key stakeholders send a Unified message to the leadership of the 9th national assembly to pass the electoral amendment bill 2020 without delay.
Present at the summit were the Minister of State for education represented by Engr Adewale Adenike, Chairman of the Nigerian Young Professionals Forum (NYPF), Moses Siloko Siasia as well as the former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigerian and 2023 presidential hopeful – Kingsley Moghalu, among others.