From Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja.
Member, Senate Committee on Electoral Matters, Senator Bala Ibn Na’Allah has charged Nigerians to put pressure on their representatives in the National Assembly to pass the amendments to the Electoral Act.
He stated this at the weekend while fielding questions from State House Correspondents after he met President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
The senator, representing Kebbi State on the platform of All Progressive Congress (APC) noted that though public hearings have been completed and inputs taken on amendments to the Electoral Act, there was the need for the lawmakers to do the right thing by passing it into law.
Na’Allah was reacting to concerns raised by stakeholders including the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) that the amendments may not be passed early enough for the 2023 general elections.
He said Nigerians must talk to their members in the National Assembly to act patriotically during the consideration of the amendment bill.
“We have finished public hearings, we have taken inputs, there are certain things that no matter how you try to be accommodative enough, they are practically impossible. But those ones that guarantee a free and fair electoral process have been taken into account and I am very sure we will give Nigerians an Electoral Act that they will be very proud of.
“Every Nigerian has a responsibility to talk to his representatives in the Senate and the House of Representatives, to accept the fact that he must act patriotically. He must place the nation above party interest in the determination of the provisions of the Electoral Act. Once we do this, we don’t have a problem. I am not sure there is any Nigerian, responsible Nigerian, who is not interested in an electoral law that gives us the comfort of conducting free, fair and credible elections.”
On the fate of electronic voting in the senate, the lawmaker said that would be determined when the principal law is considered on the floor of the House.
Na’Alkah attributed the current high level insecurity in the country to what he called injustices inflicted in the past.