Nigeria: Electoral Act - Tambuwal Urges Canada to Demand Quick Passage

18 June 2021

The Governor of Sokoto State, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, has urged the Canadian Government to appeal to the Nigerian Government and the National Assembly to expedite action on the timely passage of the National Electoral Act into law.

He also asked the Canadian Government to weigh in on the issues of freedom of expression and sustenance of democratic values in Nigeria.

In a statement issued by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Muhammad Bello, yesterday, the governor made the statement last Wednesday when the acting High Commissioner of Canada to Nigeria, Mr. Nicholas Simard, paid him a courtesy call.

Tambuwal further explained that the state and the country are interested in deepening its democracy, stressing that this can only be achieved if there is free, fair and credible election, "which is only possible if you have a properly captured elections system in the Electoral Act."

According to him, "From what is discernible, the National Assembly is not doing much in that regard, thus the need to appeal to Canada to add its voice to this call and the issues of good governance and transparency in the general administration of the country.

"From what was experienced in 2019, the Act was passed by National Assembly at a time when it could not be signed into law by the president because of either EU or ECOWAS protocol."

Tambuwal expressed appreciation over the very strong relationship between Nigeria/Sokoto State Governments with Canada.

He said as a state and federation, both the federal and state governments have benefitted immensely from the interventions of the Canadian Government, especially in the areas of education, where through the UNFPA, the Sokoto State has received support in its effort to develop the girl-child education, healthcare-on addressing fistula issues-and the development of legal framework on gender-based Violence Against Persons Prohibition (VAPP) Act.

The governor added that the state government is looking forward to a greater collaboration with Canada, particularly in strengthening its system of bureaucracy.

Earlier in his address, Simard said the team from the Canadian High Commission was in the state to show their concern on the state of insecurity in the northern region and the country in general.

Noting that Sokoto and its neighbouring states were experiencing various forms of conflicts, such as farmers-herders clashes, kidnappings and other crimes, he assured the state of his country's support in the development of these states.

He further pledged Canada's assistance to Nigeria and Sokoto State to nip in the bud the root causes of insecurity, which include economic insecurity and poverty.

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