Gov. Aminu Waziri Tambuwal of Sokoto state has urged the Canadian government to appeal to the Federal Government and the National Assembly (NASS) to expedite action on the timely passage of the National Electoral Act into law.
Tambuwal, according to a Statement by his Media and Publicity Adviser, Muhammad Bello, also asked the Canadian government to weigh-in on the issues of freedom of expression and sustenance of democratic values in Nigeria.
The governor who said the state and the country are interested in deepening its democracy, told the visiting Acting High Commissioner of Canada to Nigeria, Mr Nicholas Simard, on Wednesday, that this can only be achieved if there is free, fair and credible election, “which is only possible if you have a properly captured elections system in the Electoral Act.”
According to him, from what is discernable, the NASS is not doing much in that regard, thus the need to appeal to Canada to add its voice to this call and the issues of good governance and transparency in the general administration of the country.
“From what was experienced in 2019, the Act was passed by NASS at a time when it could not be signed into law by Mr President because of either EU or ECOWAS protocol,”
Tambuwal observed as he expressed appreciation with the very strong relationship between Nigeria/Sokoto state government with the Canada.
He said as a state and indeed as a federation, both the federal and state governments have benefitted immensely from the interventions of the Canadian government, especially in the areas of education, where through the UNFPA, Sokoto state has received support in its effort to develop girl-child education, healthcare- on addressing fistula issues and the development of legal framework on gender-based Violence Against Persons Prohibition (VAPP) Act.
Tambuwal added that Sokoto state government is looking forward to a greater collaboration with Canada,particularly in strengthening its system of bureacracy.
Earlier in his address Mr Simard said the team from the Canadian High Commission were in the state to show their concern on the situation of insecurity in the Northern States and the country in general.
Noting that Sokoto and its neighbouring states were experiencing various forms of conflicts, such as farmers-herders clashes, kidnappings and other crimes, he assured the state of his country’s support in the development of these states.
He further pledged that Canada will assist Nigeria and Sokoto state to nip in the bud the root causes of the insecurity, which include economic insecurity and poverty.
He also maintained that his country will look into the issues of gender inequality, the role of women in the society and also partner the state government on health and gender parity.
Mr Nicholas, whose request to get a brief on the efforts of the state government in tackling COVID-19 was obliged, said both his country had announced at the recent G7 Summit held in the United Kingdom that it would provide 100 milliion doses of vaccines to many countries including Nigeria.
Adding that Canada is a strong trade partner with Nigeria, one of the biggest economy in Africa, he pledged the country’s commitment to the development of Sokoto state and private sector engagement.