Ahead of the forthcoming governorship elections in Bayelsa, Imo and Kogi states, the National Assembly as well as INEC have pledge their commitment towards free, credible electoral process.
They gave the pledge in Abuja on Monday during the inaugural meeting of the Senate and House of Representatives committee on Electoral Matters.
The meeting was attended by the committee members led by the Senate Committee Chairman, Sen. Sharafadeen Alli, House of Representatives, Committee Chairman, Hon. Bayo Balogun and INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmoud Yakubu.
Yakubu had presented the commission’s plans and preparations towards hitch-free, transparent and credible elections in the three states.
Alli, the Senate Committee Chairman, charged the INEC to do all within its capabilities to ensure the elections in Bayelsa, Imo and Kogi were transparent fair and credible.
He assured INEC of the National Assembly’s readiness to collaborate with the institution and other relevant stakeholders toward ensuring improved electoral process in the country.
Alli said that the was aimed at
discussing important matters concerning INEC’s activities and preparations for the upcoming governorship elections in these three states.
The lawmaker said that the 9th Assembly set a high standard for the committee, especially with regards to the passage of the Electoral Act, 2022, and the Electoral Offences Commission Establishment Bill, 2022 which was sent to the House of Representatives for concurrence.
Alli said that the committee was ready to exceed and raise the set standard as indicated in their work plan which would be shared with members of the 10th Assembly
“Based on the brief I have received, there are pending technical issues that need attention on the Electoral Offences Committee Bill and as you are all aware, there have been calls for possible improvements on the Electoral Act, 2022,” he said.
He said that the committee would work extensively with INEC and all stakeholders including the judiciary to ensure the country’s electoral laws as well as processes receive required attention.
The lawmaker said that the aim was to enhance and upgrade our Nation’s leadership recruitment process.
Alli said that the committee would give required attention to the creation of additional state constituencies.
He said the committee had engaged INEC on the matter at different occasions with a feedback that all technical issues relating to delineation and creation of constituencies had been dealt with accordingly.
The lawmaker said that the National Assembly was expected to play its part in the amendments of necessary sections of the constitution before INEC can implement.
Alli said that plans were underway to hold retreats for committee members
in collaboration with election stakeholders to prepare them objectively for the assignments.
“Zonal interactive sessions with stakeholders will also be organized by the committee to enable participants strategize on relevant issues regarding pre-election matters
“Also included are possible omissions in the Electoral Act, Electoral Offences Commission (Establishment) Bill and other relevant issues,” he said.
He said that the committee also intend to have exchange programmes for committee members and staff of the secretariat.
The lawmaker stated that the objective was to achieve exposure to other Nations’ legislative operations to enhance knowledge and improve skills in legislative business.
Other members of the committee also offered valuable insights and guidance to INEC towards hitch-free electoral process in the three states.
Special Adviser (Media) to Senator Sharafadeen Alli