New Electoral Act: Legislators thank Stakeholders

New Electoral Act: Legislators thank Stakeholders

The Leadership of the National Assembly has applauded the spirit of patriotism and hardwork exhibited by legislators towards the birth of a new Electoral Act for Nigeria.

President of the Senate, Ahmed Lawan gave the commendation in an interview with Voice of Nigeria soon after President Muhammadu Buhari appended his signature on the document on Friday in order for it to become a law.

Lawan thanked President Buhari for his patience and fatherly disposition throughout the process of producing the law.

“Let me, first of all, commend the distinguished Senators and Honourable Members of the 9th National Assembly for working so hard, for working in a very bi-partisan manner to produce the Electoral Act Amendment Bill 2010, for Mr President to assent to.

“It took a lot of effort, a lot of work, commitment and dedication by members of the National Assembly and other stakeholders; those in government particularly, and some civil society organizations.

“I want, at this point, to commend Mr President for being there to ensure that any challenge, as far as the passage of the Electoral Act Amendment Bill was concerned, he ensured that he didn’t stop us from going further to reach the end, in a conclusive way.

“Today marked the most important part of this exercise, when Mr President signed the Electoral Act, Amendment Bill 2010, into law.

He said the legislators are now fulfilled that Nigeria has an Electoral Act that will improve the Nigerian electoral system.

“For us, in the ninth National Assembly, this is a fulfilment of one of our cardinal objectives in our legislative agendas in the two chambers.

And of course, for the administration, this is one very important piece of legislation that this administration will work with Nigerians, especially when it comes to the electoral environment, where we always feel that we must improve on what we have met.

And by the time we leave, the electoral climate must be better in terms of integrity, in terms of transparency, and ensuring that every vote counts,” he said.

The President of the Senate, who congratulated Nigerians, also said the country’s electoral empire now has all it needs to conduct credible elections.

“For Nigerians, let me say congratulations to Nigerians.

Many Nigerians have shown interest, their main focus on ensuring that the Electoral Act Amendment Bill 2010 becomes a law.

And of course, it is a law today.

And for INEC, now you have what you need.

INEC, you have to produce the best possible electoral exercise, right from probably the Ekiti and Osun off-season elections and of course, in the 2023 general elections,” Lawan added.

Law Abiding
He, however, admonished citizens to respect the law and abide by all its provisions.

“For Nigerians law is one thing.

Respect for the law is another thing, no matter how beautiful a law is, if there is no desire, no commitment, and that obligation, to ensure compliance with the law, the law could be less effective and efficient.

So, I believe that we need to respect the law, especially now that we have an improvement over what we had in the previous years.

“You know, this is a legitimate request.

And that is why I commend the President.

I will commend him for so many things, but let me also qualify it that even though he had a disagreement with the section, especially clause 84(12), that talks about public political office holders, he still went ahead to sign the bill into law and that is to show his commitment and desire to have an electoral law that will ensure that we have better outcomes when we do election.

According to the President of the Senate; “We will look at what is being asked, I hope that they will send the request for the amendment in good time.

Because time is of the essence, INEC is waiting and because we don’t want to spill over some of these dates, unnecessarily.

“We will be expecting communication from Mr President with respect to this.

And then the National Assembly in both chambers will look into the request for the amendment but I, on the whole, I think this is a wonderful development for this administration, for Nigeria, for the evolution and development and growth of democracy in Nigeria.

Towing the line of the Senate President, Speaker, House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, said all stakeholders that played various roles in producing the new law deserve commendation.

“Well, first of all, let me join the Senate President in commending all the stakeholders, starting from the members of the National Assembly, right, all the way through to CSOs, the President, and the general public and the media.

It’s been a collaborative effort by all stakeholders, students, the youth, and today is a combination of the work product of all those people put together,” he said.

The Speaker took time to reel out some of the benefits of the new law.

“I believe it’s a landmark piece of legislation and has far-reaching and I mean, far-reaching implications of the provisions contained therein.

I can count off head at least 10 to 15 provisions in that electoral law, that if properly executed by INEC, and the people who the laws are made for, it will be a turning point in the electoral history of Nigeria.

And we will witness, not just be mouthing free, fair and credible elections, but we will actually witness free, fair and credible elections moving forward,” he added.

New Electoral Act: Legislators thank Stakeholders

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