From Fred Itua, Abuja
Senators and some national commissioners of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), including its chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, yesterday, met to put finishing touches to ongoing amendment of the Electoral Act.
At the meeting, the Joint Technical Committee on the repeal of Electoral Act 2010, submitted its report to the National Assembly Joint Committee on INEC and Electoral Matters.
Chairman of the joint technical committee, Mr. Festus Okoye, made the presentation to the committee. Okoye is also INEC National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee.
Presenting the report, Okoye said the report was a product of some level of consensus by stakeholders.
“We are not perfect; but we believe that with the third reading of the bill, some of the imperfections will be corrected. It is still a work in progress and we believe it will guarantee credibility to our electoral process,” he said.
Chairman, Senate Committee on INEC, Kabiru Gaya, said the ongoing amendment of the bill would not become just another addition to the myriad of reports that had been shelved over the years in the area of electoral reform.
“We are committed to put in place the requisite legislative framework that will enhance the rebirth of a vibrant electoral system for our growing, but delicate democracy. We believe this electoral bill when passed into law will be a stepping stone to climbing the steps of improving our democratic processes,” he said.
Deputy senate president, Ovie Omo-Agege, said that the moment the electoral system was sanitised, every other thing would fall in place.
“The entire country will be grateful for what you have done,” he said.
Chairman of INEC, Mahmood Yakubu, commended members of the committee for their commitment in ensuring that Nigeria had a brand new electoral act by the end of the first quarter.
“As the National Assembly resumes on February 9, there will be a clean copy of the bill tabled before the Senate and House of Representatives by the technical committee. With this, passing of the bill within the first quarter is more or less assured,” he said.