The Chief Whip of the Senate and former Governor of Abia State, Distinguished Senator Orji Uzor Kalu, has called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to consider holding the 2023 general elections same day, saying that it would reduce costs and rigging.

Kalu said Presidential election,  National Assembly, Governorship and State House of Assembly elections can be concurrently taken care of on the same day rather than having staggered dates for them.

In a statement personally signed by the Chief Whip and issued on Thursday, Kalu said holding 2023 elections the same day will minimise cost, give the electorates the opportunity to vote their genuine choice and protect their votes.

Kalu also cited United States, Ghana and Sierra Leone as countries indulging in same-day elections, adding that Nigeria will not be out of place to do the same.

The statement partly reads:

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‘INEC should conduct the 2023 elections same day as staggered elections are unnecessarily expensive. The conduct of the elections on different days gives room for rigging, thuggery and several vices. It also puts the lives of the voters and INEC officials in intense danger.

‘When elections are conducted on the same day, popular candidates will emerge because everyone will be busy in their polling units and zones, unlike different days. The cost of running two days elections will also be reduced.

‘To deepen our democracy, we need to get the elections right. When leaders with genuine interests of the people are voted to power, they provide exceptional leadership and infrastructure to their people,’  Kalu said.

This newspaper recalls that Kalu, a first-time senator, was in June bestowed with the prestigious Senate award for constituency development in recognition of his impressive representation and expedition of massive constituency projects in his Abia North Senatorial zone at the Senate Press Corps 2021 award ceremony.

Kalu built 19 roads in 2020 and has 21 ongoing roads in 2021. He also built hospitals and rebuilt several schools. The Senate Press Corps being the apex media body of the Nigerian Senate which comprises of the nation’s print and online media houses gave Kalu the constituency development award at the Senate Press Corps 2021 award ceremony. Others in attendance during the ceremony were: Senate President, Senator Ahmed Lawan; Deputy Senate President, Senator Ovie Omo Agege; Senator Ajibola Bashiru; Principal officers of the Senate and others.