Gen Onoja urges political leaders to promote credible, transparent electoral process
Former Military Administrator of Plateau and Katsina States, Gen. Lawrence Onoja (rtd.) has called on political leaders to promote a credible and transparent electoral process that guarantees citizens’ participation in the governance of their affairs.
Onoja made the call while speaking at a National Peacebuilding Conference with the theme “Electoral process, governance, democracy, security and conflict resolution in 2023 general elections” in Abuja on Tuesday.
The conference was organised by the Institute for Crisis Resolution, Peacebuilding and Conciliation (ICRCP) in collaboration with the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) Jabi.
The former military administrator also harped on the need to adhere to the principles of democracy that would guarantee peacebuilding and security in the country.
In his words, “Internationally, democracy is a license for gaining access to international diplomacy, finance, trade, investment, sports, entertainment, tourism, humanitarianism, defence and security.
“As countries rush to obtain this tagging of being democratic, Nigeria should distinguish its brand of democracy with adherence to critical principles of democracy that include the rule of law and justice.
“Respect for human rights, provision of welfare, and human security for the citizens, transparency and accountability, open government, citizens participation and inclusiveness.
“It is imperative therefore, that political leaders encourage, imbibe, accept and celebrate transparent, credible and open electoral process as a fundamental national security commitment and minimum benchmarking, guaranteeing the equal participation of Nigerians in the governance of their affairs.”
Onoja noted that the electoral process was very crucial and central to democracy, governance, security and conflict resolution, adding that the reason for the use of the court in conflict resolution was the absence of democratic governance of commonwealth and privileges.
According to him, as Nigerians continue to struggle for a functional government that will guarantee them food security, health security, community security, economic security, political security, environmental security and personal security, the relevant state institutions need to begin to function effectively.