The Dabigal Blog

2023 elections: Draw lesson from Kenya, punish offenders — Utomi urges Nigeria

Professor Pat Utomi, a Nigerian political economist, on Monday said that Nigeria must draw a lesson from Kenya and punish all offenders in the 2023 general elections or risk truncating the country’s democracy.

Utomi made this remark at a news conference in Lagos while assessing the process and outcome of the February 25 and March 18 general elections.

According to him, unless those who commit electoral fraud, disrupt the process, harass, kill and maim voters are jailed in Nigeria, the phrase “go to court,” will continue to be a regular line among election riggers in Nigeria.

Utomi said: “Consequences management impunity which has become widespread and every day, moves us further down the road to Somalia, and is widespread mainly because consequence management is poor in Nigeria. What happened to yesterday’s electoral process offenders? So why will the offence not be committed again?

“I do hope our judiciary can draw a lesson from Kenya and not allow its reputation to go down the drain. But it must then punish offenders. If this does not happen, then the essence of institutions in setting boundaries is gone and we can kiss democracy goodbye.”

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