Adeniyi Adegbomire, the senator representing Ondo Central, has explained why the National Assembly decided not to halt off-cycle elections in spite of pleas made in response to the Independent National Electoral Commission’s (INEC) dismal performance at the recently completed polls in Kogi, Bayelsa, and Imo.
Adegbomire, who was elected to the senate on the platform of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), made the case for the off-cycle elections, saying they enhanced Nigeria’s democracy.
The senator claimed that the off-cycle elections proved Nigerians’ votes mattered.
He went on to say that if the leaders of society are chosen by means other than following the will of the people, then society is on the path to perdition.
Adegbomire reiterated that Nigeria’s off-season elections are a positive development for democracy and noted that the National Assembly will not enact legislation to abolish them.
This is a constitutional issue, as the Supreme Court has made very evident. As stipulated in the constitution, oath-taking must be taken for a four-year tenure. The day you were sworn in as president or governor is when those four years begin, he stated.
“The constitution does not specify that you must obtain the majority votes of two-thirds of local governments, as stated in the Electoral Act. Thus, there are requirements for tenure as well as requirements for winning an election. The constitution specifies the tenure. In a technical sense, this indicates that the individual who held the position prior to his removal was not legitimately elected and was never a governor. But the Electoral Act and the constitution acknowledge that, as long as he remains in office, he will remain governor until the ultimate decision, he continued, even if he is removed before the tribunal.
The senator reportedly made this statement a few days after Goodluck Jonathan, the former president of Nigeria, voiced concerns about the way off-cycle elections were being conducted.
He expressed concern that if the country continued to conduct off-season polls, the presidential race might eventually become an off-cycle election.