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ELECTORAL REFORM

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REMINISCENCES: BUILDING A GREATER NIGERIA FOR THE RECORDS: MATTER OF PUBLIC & NATIONAL INTEREST: REPORT OF THE MUHAMMADU LAWAL UWAIS ELECTORAL REFORM COMMITTEE PRESENTED TO THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT OF NIGERIA IN DECEMBER, 2008 Electoral contests in Nigeria have been accompanied by loud protests by losers who have often complained of being robbed of victory. Such is the situation that these protests have resulted in the killing and maiming of people, particularly members of opposition political parties who are usually accused of being involved in the manipulation of election results. Losers, it must be stated, in the past actually encouraged the military to take over power, in a manner that suggests that we are bad losers. TERRIFIC HEADLINES believes that the Report of the Muhammadu Uwais 2008 Electoral Reform Committee put together by late President Umaru Musa YarAdua, as well as the follow up by the Ken Nnamani Committee, inaugurated by the current administration are documents that should be read and understood by all Nigerians, for the purpose of noting the ills that have pervaded the electoral atmosphere since 1922, and what should be done to avert further crises. This is being presented in public and national interests, simply to enable participants and stakeholders understand in clearer terms what we need to do the evolve an enduring democratic process. Very recently, TERRIFIC HEADLINES highlighted the importance of Electoral Reforms if Nigeria is to get over the age long crises of muddling up elections and circumventing regulations. We invited attention to the existence of the Report of the Muhammadu Lawal Uwais Committee submitted to the Government of the Federal Republic in December, 2008. One enviable stance of the Uwais Committee was its decision to shun overseas travel, in the form of the usual Study Tours as a matter of principle. (only patriots would react in the manner) Instead, the Committee benefitted from foreign expertise by inviting for interaction, experts from Botswana, Cameroun, Canada, Cote DIvoire, France, Ghana, India, Lesotho, Mexico, Niger Republic and South Africa. The Committee interacted with former Heads of State and Presidents to benefit from their wealth of experience in election matters. On its part, the Ken Nnamani led 24-man Constitution and Electoral Reform Committee made meaningful recommendations on how to strengthen the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the participation of independent candidates, the management of political parties, tackling of electoral offences, management of electoral dispute resolutions as well…

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