Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon Yakubu Dogara, has stated that the House of Representatives would resist any further attempt to frustrate the enactment of the Electoral Act Amendment Billl
as failure to do so would be indicative of a desire not to improve on the successes recorded in the 2015 elections.
Delivering a speech to mark the resumption of the House from its annual recess at the National Assembly, Hon Dogara said the passage of the Bill is also important in order to quell fears that some forces intend to manipulate the forthcoming elections by exploiting identified loopholes in the Electoral Act currently in force.
He explained that the new Electoral Act amendment Bill has provisions that are designed to guarantee free, fair and transparent elections in Nigeria, entrenches the Smart Card Reader and electronic transmission of results, among others. He also added that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Supplementary budget Bill must also be accorded expeditious consideration.
“As we settle down to business, let me reiterate that the INEC Supplementary budget Bill must be accorded expeditious consideration. Furthermore, the pending issue of the Electoral Act amendment Bill, which was unfortunately vetoed by Mr President, must also be expeditiously considered and passed. The new Electoral Act amendment Bill has provisions that are designed to guarantee free, fair and transparent elections in Nigeria.
“The amendment Bill entrenches the Smart Card Reader and electronic transmission of results among others. Any further attempt to frustrate the passing into law of the Bill, will be indicative of our desire not to improve on the successes of the 2015 general elections further fueling the fears that some including our international partners have about some forces who intend to manipulate the forthcoming elections by exploiting identified loopholes in the Electoral Act currently in force,” he added.
The speaker said the August 8th assault on the institution of the National Assembly by masked personnel of the Department of State Services, DSS, the third by security agencies working in concert with anti-democratic elements in quick succession, was a rude reminder to all that, “our democracy is still very fragile and therefore we should never go to sleep believing that the work of democracy is done and that progress is inevitable.”
Furthermore, he thanked vigilant NASS members, who at great risks, confronted these heavily armed; masked and hooded fascist agents, the Press, Civil Society Organisations, the generality of Nigerians and the international community for rising to the occasion as living heroes of our democracy.
He also commended the then Acting President, His Excellency, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, SAN who swiftly took disciplinary action against some of the perpetrators of these seditious and subversive action and called on the executive to ensure that all other assessors, before or after the fact of this treasonable act, must be quickly brought to book; as the then DG, SSS could never have acted alone.