From Charity Nwakaudu Abuja
Coalition of Civil Society Organizations on Electoral Reforms have threatened mass action against the National Assembly over their perceived poor interest in completing work on electoral bill which they believe would guarantee free, fair and credible electoral system.
They said their mass action against members of the National Assembly will be taken after the Ramadan if the lawmakers fail to work on the electoral bill having failed to meet up with the set dates for the passage of the electoral bill.
Leader of the Coalition, Ariyo-Dare Atoye, who addressed journalists in Abuja, on Thursday, questioned the sincerity of the leaders of the National Assembly to the cause of credible electoral system which can only be achieved through the amendment of the electoral law.
He said: “The President of the Senate, Senator Ahmad Lawan and the leadership of the joint committee of the National Assembly on Electoral Matters, have betrayed the solemn pledge made to Nigerians on 9th December 2020, at the public hearing conducted on the electoral bill.
“We are worried that the 9th National Assembly appears unperturbed about passing a bill that could give them lasting legacies and their names and session in gold.
“It is also troubling that the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and the main opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP) are less concerned about electoral reforms.
“Equally disheartening is the nonchalant attitude of the smaller political parties and stakeholders to the passage of a new electoral act. They always prefer to lament without any coordinated action.
“The time has come for young members of the political parties in Nigeria, notably, women, activists, journalists and other concerned Nigerians to join us in occupying the National (#OccupyNASS) to demand for the passage of a reformed electoral act. Except the bill is tabled and passed, we shall be left with no option than to occupy NASS after the Ramadan.
“We deserve free, fair and credible elections. We deserve good leaders that credible polls will throw up. We deserve good governance that good leaders will bring. Nigeria deserves the best.”
They, therefore, call for the resignation of the Senate President if he cannot ensure the passage of the bill, so as to allow Nigerians to experience peace in subsequent elections.