- Thuggery in elections has never helped any nation either in Africa or any other continent in the world
- This was the opinion of Goodluck Ebele Jonathan in his recent article titled COVID-19, democracy and task of nation-building
- Jonathan said any nation where electoral violence is upheld will fail
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Former president Goodluck Ebele Jonathan has given his opinion on the thuggery and violence that has characterised Nigerian and even African elections.
In an article titled COVID-19, democracy and task of nation-building, Jonathan suggested that electronic voting is a practical way to end electoral violence, despite the fear of hacking by cybercriminals surrounding it.
The former Nigerian leader wrote:
“I am also convinced that electronic voting will eliminate the worrisome issue of massive rigging and violence during elections because it will limit human presence during voting.
“It will bring an end to the incessant deployment of miscreants during elections because there will be no room for ballot box stuffing or snatching. It is sad that in some places, these miscreants are even celebrated, because of the ignoble roles they play during elections."
"With respect to the forthcoming Ondo and Edo gubernatorial election, Jonathan called on politicians and political parties to uphold peace and fair play as thuggery will work against the nation's democracy and threaten its unity.
He said: “I should point out that a society where thugs become role models is doomed to fail. You can always tell how credible or otherwise a democratic process has been from the level of protests, violence and the number of post-election litigations."
Earlier, Jonathan had given his view as to how rigging, manipulation, and all forms of electoral malpractices could be avoided in the country.
Jonathan opined that the best and only way for electoral crimes to be avoided not just in Nigeria but across Africa is through electronic voting.
The former Nigerian leader made this rather controversial submission during the Osasu Show Symposium 2020.
Jonathan said that mere election does not necessarily amount to democracy and that the results of polls should not be determined by the tribunal but strictly by ballots.
He stated: “Regular elections, fine, but elections per se is not democracy. If the votes of the citizens don’t count, then it is as good as a military dictatorship. So from me, the reforms first get to us making the vote counts."
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