By Chibuike Nwabuko
Abuja (Sundiata Publish) – President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, has stated that the Nationwide Assembly would strengthen the Just Nationwide Electoral Commission in its bellow to create a exact and safe voting ambiance, with the closing arrangement of fostering democracy by ensuring electoral integrity and transparency in the conduct of elections.
Lawan made this known whereas talking all through a meeting between the Nationwide Assembly Joint Committee on INEC and Electoral Issues and a delegation from the Just Nationwide Electoral Commission, led by its Chairman, Mahmoud Yakubu.
In his presentation, Prof. Mahmoud Yakubu, whereas underscoring the necessity for the creation of extra Polling Devices across the country, stated the present configuration of 119,973 Polling Devices became established by the defunct Nationwide Electoral Commission of Nigeria (NECON) in 1996.
In line with him, “the topic of voter entry to Polling Devices has far reaching implications for the quality of elections and democracy in Nigeria. It is tied to a most traditional a part of democratic governance which is the correct to vote.”
He explained that outdated attempts by the Commission to elongate voter entry to polling devices resulted in the creation of “Toddler devices” to abet the hasty increasing Federal Capital Territory in 2007.
He added that, “in 2014, in the buildup to the 2015 general election, the Commission proposed the creation and distribution of extra 30,027 original polling devices.
“This became with the arrangement of decongesting overcrowded polling devices and dispersing voters as evenly as doubtless to disruptions, delays and violence on Election Day.”
The Senate President, in a speech delivered all throughout the meeting, emphasised the necessity for added polling devices to be created to offer distinct voter safety and a better voting ambiance in Nigeria.
In line with him, the creation of extra polling devices across the country would facilitate ease of entry and allow registered voters exercise their civic rights of taking portion all through elections.
He stated: “Let me guarantee the Chairman of INEC and, certainly, Nigerians, that the Nationwide Assembly will strengthen INEC completely, entirely and wholly in ensuring that we provide a better voting ambiance for our residents.
“No topic it takes, we can produce so because democracy is set participation by the americans, and voting is per chance the most famous part a citizen also can produce to judge who leads him or her.
“As a result of this truth, to create a extra convenient, safe and secured ambiance for voters is one part that the Nationwide Assembly would consistently strengthen INEC.
“And, now we have confidence supported INEC again and again, whether through budgeting or other engagements that will facilitate the work of INEC, resulting from this truth, this one is a quiz that we must the least bit times silent no longer even hesitate to grant. So, you’ve our strengthen.
“On behalf of all americans in the Nationwide Assembly, I prefer to guarantee Nigerians that the Nationwide Assembly is ready and willing to strengthen INEC to offer better, especially in the region getting extra polling devices.”
The Senate President, who underscored the necessity for added eligible Nigerians to participate all through elections, charged politicians, political parties and Civil Society Organizations to mobilize registered voters sooner than the approaching near Regular Elections in 2023.
In line with him, mobilizing extra registered voters to participate all through elections would toughen Nigeria’s electoral direction of moreover the creation of extra polling devices by the Commission.
“The snarl is no longer any longer most efficient creating extra polling devices however even mobilizing voters to participate, because whenever you happen to’ve got 85 million, and at the tip of the day, correct about 29.8 million exit to vote, it intention you’ve omitted about 50 million Nigerians.
“And, that’s no longer a responsibility of INEC on my own. Mobilization of voters is one thing that politicians and political parties are additionally purported to offer. And, after all, the same with Civil Society Group that have confidence any relationship ardour or concerns with voters or voting.
“So, apart from getting extra polling devices, we desire to additionally mobilize voters to race to those polling devices to vote.
“Potentially, now our concern would be how will we toughen from 35 percent to one thing bask in 50 percent in the 2023 Presidential election, because that confers extra legitimacy when extra voters come out to vote,” he stated.
Lawan, resulting from this truth, entreated INEC to title communities the put voter entry is severely restricted as a outcomes of inadequate polling devices, and fetch extra polling devices to permit registered voters participate all through elections.
His phrases: “There are such a complete lot of communities that buckle down and do that rigorous battle to race and vote thanks to the runt sequence of voting or polling devices, however in addition they might be able to have confidence no longer written to you to advise they want extra polling devices.
“I’d urge INEC, resulting from this truth, that we must the least bit times silent race previous those communities that have confidence requested for added polling devices.
“We must have confidence a truly lovely and equitable direction of the put even communities that have confidence no longer requested for polling devices are lined, because some also can fair no longer even know the put to race.
“Potentially, those that have confidence requested are those which can maybe maybe well be extra enlightened, and there also can very successfully be so many plagued by this.
“Nonetheless there are so lots of this extra or less community suffering, so we must have confidence a diligent direction of that will give of us that have confidence no longer requested for added polling devices to have confidence extra polling devices, in any other case we are able to also fair discontinue up creating extra polling devices or though-provoking other polling devices to those areas we deem are no longer served or lined correctly, and silent produce other folks suffering in silence.”
On the Electoral Act modification at the moment sooner than the Nationwide Assembly, the Senate President stated the Senate and the Home of Representatives “are working so hard and the 2 chambers are ready to ogle into the document.”
“Let me lift this alternative to guarantee Nigerians that the Electoral Act modification – the Constitutional review that our committees in the Home and Senate are doing – would be handed sooner than we race on our 2nd destroy. Our 2nd destroy is infrequently between June and July.
“We prefer to offer a truly thorough job, we desire to fetch legislative amendments that will guarantee our electoral ambiance is enhanced, that our elections are better in phrases of integrity and transparency,” he added.