Hey there, middle schoolers! Today, we’re going to talk about something important that’s happening in Nigeria’s democracy. It’s all about candidates who switch from one political party to another. This is called “cross carpeting,” and it’s causing some big problems.
Attahiru Jega, who used to be the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), recently spoke up about this issue. He said that if we want to make changes to the 2022 Electoral Act, we should include a rule that stops candidates from cross carpeting. According to Jega, this trend is undermining the very foundation of our democracy.
Jega, who is also a professor of political science, shared his thoughts at a meeting called the Citizens’ Townhall on Electoral Reforms. This meeting was organized by a group called Yiaga Africa and the European Union. Jega believes that we should not only stop cross carpeting but also make some other changes to improve our electoral system.
So, why is cross carpeting such a big deal? Well, Jega explained that when candidates switch parties, it causes a lot of problems. For example, we have seen governors who were elected under one party suddenly move to another party without even talking to the people who voted for them. This is not fair and it goes against the essence of democracy.
Jega thinks that in the new electoral act, we should make a rule that stops this from happening. He believes that if we want to improve our politics and make our democracy stronger, we need to put an end to cross carpeting.
Jega also talked about some other changes that he thinks are necessary. He said that we should review how the chairman and other important people in INEC are appointed. This means that there should be a thorough screening and verification process to make sure that the people in these positions are trustworthy and have integrity.
Additionally, Jega supports the idea of “unbundling” INEC. This means that we should divide it into smaller parts to make it more efficient. He also thinks that we need to review how political parties present their candidates for elections. Right now, we often end up with too many candidates who don’t have a chance of winning but still waste a lot of resources.
Many other people who attended the meeting also agreed that we need more reforms in the 2022 Electoral Act. They pointed to recent elections in Imo, Kogi, and Bayelsa as examples of why these changes are so important.
So, there you have it, middle schoolers! Cross carpeting among candidates is causing problems for Nigeria’s democracy. It’s important for us to make changes to the electoral act to stop this from happening. Let’s work together to make our democracy stronger and fairer for everyone!