Presidential Candidate of the Young Progressive Party (YPP), Prof. Kingsley Moghalu, has revealed sadness over the loss of lives from violence during the Presidential and National Assembly election of February 23. Moghalu, who symphatised with victims and condoled the families of all who lost their lives as a result of the violence, went on to task President Muhammadu Buhari on having an inclusive governance.
“I am very saddened by the loss of lives to various acts of violence during the Feb. 23, presidential election and elections into the National Assembly. My heartfelt condolences go to the families that lost loved ones and I pray that those injured will recover soonest,” Moghalu said in a statement on Friday. The candidate also decried the alleged operational failures of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in the conduct of the elections, the massive vote buying and vote rigging through various methods and the violence that characterised the polls across the country.
According to him, these have brought the credibility of the election to question. He alleged that the supporters of both the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) were complicit in the malpractices. Moghalu said: “The number of votes tallied for my candidacy by the INEC did not represent anything close to the electoral strength of that candidacy. These false numbers were the result of brazen theft of our votes and the suppression of our voters.
He added: “It appears, however, that the strong determination of many of our citizens to reject the APC at the ballot box far outweighed the desire for real change in our polity and governance in 2019. Though we did not win this election in terms of overall numbers of votes, the presidential election result is an indication of where our society is at present; 2019 is the last gasp of the old political order that has robbed Nigeria of real development. I trust and believe that this situation will change by 2023.”
According to Moghalu, as Nigeria moves forward as a country, fundamental reform of its electoral system is needed if its democracy is to have any real meaning. “Elections, as they are organised and executed today in Nigeria, are a travesty. We need to reform the systems of registration, voting and collation of votes by making the processes more transparent through better use of technology. As of today, these processes are tedious, inefficient and prone to risks and performance failures such as those we have experienced.”
Moghalu added: “We also must stiffen punishment and enforce accountability for electoral offences. Nigerians in Diaspora have continued to remit billions of dollars home every year for this. Our fellow citizens living abroad must be able to vote from overseas as from 2023. Immediate action to achieve this goal is required once the present elections are over.”
He also said that President Muhammadu Buhari, who INEC announced as the winner of the 2019 presidential election, owed Nigerians an inclusive, competent government that could heal the land and take millions of Nigerians out of crushing poverty. According to him, this calls for a very different approach to create jobs and improve actual economic productivity and living standards.