By Suleiman Adamu, Sokoto
SOKOTO Stat Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal has sought the intervention of the Canadian government to appeal to the Federal Government and the National Assembly (NASS) to expedite action for the timely passage of the National Electoral Act into law.
Tambuwal who made the plea when he received the Acting High Commissioner of Canada to Nigeria , Mr Nicholas Simard in Sokoto also asked the Canadian government to weigh-in on the issues of freedom of expression and sustenance of democratic values in Nigeria.
According the governor , ” 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.”
He said Sokoto state and the country was sensitive to and interested in deepening it’s democracy which can be achieved in a free, fair and credible elections space , stressing that ” his can be driven to reality if you have a properly captured elections system in the Electoral Act.”
Tambuwal however noted that 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.
While looking forward to a responsive collaboration with Canada towards strengthening it’s system of bureaucracy, Tambuwal acknowledge the ties between Nigeria , Sokoto state government with he Canada, Tambuwal said as a state and indeed a federation, both tiers of government were immense beneficiaries of the Canadian government interventions in many areas citing example of education, where he noted that through the UNFPA, Sokoto state has received support in its effort to develop girl-child education, healthcare especially on addressing fistula issues and the development of legal framework on gender-based Violence Against Persons Prohibition (VAPP) Act.
Earlier in his address Mr Simard said the Canadian High Commission delegation visit was a mark and show of concerns to the worsening security situation in Northern states and country in general.
The Envoy hitherto, noted the various conflicts experienced by Sokoto and its neighbouring states occasioned by farmers-herders clashes, kidnappings and other crimes, assuring of his country’s deliberate steps towards supporting to develop of the states.
In his words: ” Canada will assist Nigeria and Sokoto state to nip in the bud the root causes of the insecurity, which include economic insecurity and poverty.
” Canada will also 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”, he stated.
However, the Envoy’s who requested for a brief on the state government’s drive in tackling COVID-19 and was obliged, said 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 while explaining that Canada remains 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.