The Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Professor Mahmoud Yakubu, says that having two strong political parties is good for the country’s democracy because they make elections competitive.
Yakubu, while addressing journalists at the headquarters of the commission in Abuja on Wednesday, April 27, said that going by the tight margin between the two major political parties in the country in recent elections, it is safe to state that elections are now competitive in the country.
He also said that the re-run elections conducted under his chairmanship of the commission has been closely contested.
“Nigerians have been praying for the day our votes will count, today I am very happy to say that vote counts and that elections have now become more competitive.”
“Secondly, Nigerians have been praying for a day when we would have two strong political parties and now we have two strong political parties and there are others that are equally coming on strong and winning in areas where they have never won before.”
“Elections in Nigeria are becoming better and votes are now counting. For instance, there used to be one strong political party that always won elections but now there are two strong parties.”
“Take the case of Kogi, for instance, in the last governorship election, two strong political parties and candidates, a former governor and an incumbent governor, in Bayelsa State, two strong parties, two strong candidates, a former governor and an incumbent governor and the same scenario played out also in Rivers State where a former governor and an incumbent governor were the main actors even though they were not candidates in the elections.”
Addressing the sudden rise in the number of inconclusive elections recorded since he assumed leadership of the commission, Yakubu said even though the problem did not start under his watch, it was already being dealt with.