Judiciary should not be allowed to select political leaders, says Jonathan

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Former President Goodluck Jonathan said on Monday that the judiciary should not be allowed to select those who should occupy political offices in the country.

He insisted that the ballot papers should be the sole determinant of who should occupy a political office and who should not.

He said if a candidate who wins an election is found wanting, that election should be annulled and fresh one conducted to determine a clear and unencumbered winner.

Jonathan made these assertions at a parley with youths and women under the auspices of “TOS Foundation Youth and Women for Good Governance” initiative, during his studio visit to The Osasu Show (TOS) Television Network in Abuja.

Jonathan said: “The issue of the judiciary I don’t want to make a comment…, let me reiterate what I have said somewhere that in Nigeria today, the judiciary selects political leaders.

“It is not the best. The ballot papers should be the basis of selecting political leaders. If it is the judiciary that will select, we are not yet there.

“It is delicate but I have made a public statement before and I will always make it. I am not saying the judiciary is not doing well, but I mean our laws should suppress the idea of the judiciary in returning a candidate.

“If a candidate that won the election is found wanting, that election should be annulled and a fresh election conducted.

“The ballot paper must decide who holds any office from councillorship to the presidency and that is democracy.”

The immediate past President lamented that elections in Nigeria are fraught with violence, a situation that pushes candidates to seek judicial intervention to determine who should hold the particular office.

He said: “We must regret it that sometimes our elections are too violent in Nigeria. I think in Africa, we are among the top countries with violent elections.

“Even for party primaries, you see people going to break doors, windows, scatter ballot boxes and so on.

“You hardly see it in other African countries and when we behave that way, of course, we are now giving the powers to the judiciary to decide who become the governor, Senator and House of Representatives member. I believe that as we progress, maybe we will get over that.”

On increasing the number or youths and women in politics, Jonathan said he tried to increase the number of women in the National Assembly during his tenure but failed.

He insisted that Nigeria must evolve policies to plan for the future of the young ones if the country is to grow and remain great.

The founder and Chief Executive Officer of TOS TV Network, Ms. Osasu Igbinedion, said the TOS Foundation is the Corporate Social Responsibility arm of TOS TV Network.

She said the foundation focuses primarily on the empowerment of youths, women and girls.

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