Following the fall-out of the recently concluded Bayesla and Kogi states governorship elections, the Minority Caucus in the House of Representatives has said that the Electoral Act Amendment Bill would soon be listed for consideration in the House.
The Minority Leader of the House, Hon. Ndudi Elumelu, disclosed this while addressing journalists at the end of plenary yesterday.
The media briefing followed a statement made at the plenary by Hon. Leke Abejide (Kogi, ADC), saying that the whole House was in support of what happened at the last Saturday’s election.
But Elumelu swiftly raised a point of order, saying the minority caucus was not in support of the outcome of the elections.
Speaking on behalf of the minority caucus at the briefing, the minority leader stated categorically that the PDP caucus was not impressed with the mode of election, especially considering the loss of lives.
He said that election is not meant to lose lives because the essence of coming into governance is to represent the people, adding that if those that would be represented are killed, then who are political office holders going to represent.
According to him, “Take for instance, if you look at the videos that are going viral, PDP state woman leader in Kogi State was burnt alive in her house, Senator Dino Melaye in his unit, his nephew was killed and in Bayesla State, the same thing – ballot box snatching. So, we came here for the purpose of registering that we are not in favour of the outcome of the election.”
“Because we have so many bills that are lined up for presentation, like that of Electoral Act will not go the novel, it will be something that will come under Committee of the Whole. It is already in process and very soon it will be listed.”
Also, the Deputy Minority Leader, Hon. Toby Okechukwu, said that the essence of the briefing was to share their concerns with regard to the trajectory of the democracy.
He stressed that what happened in Kogi and Bayelsa states showed how the country has degenerated when it comes to the way and manner elections are conducted, noting that the country was improving in the negative sense.
Okechukwu said, “As a matter of fact, if you see the clips that are flying all over the place; if you see the reports from Nigerians; if you see the level of deprivation; if you see the number of people who did not participate (in the exercise); the level of violence that has been orchestrated in just two states, it is quite unfortunate and it is something that really has to be investigated.”
The caucus said it strongly believe that the matter would be interrogated in court, adding that the woman leader from Kogi State that was burnt alive was a negative testimony to what the country has come to see as elections.
“It leaves a number of rooms for us to do better and I believe that our own agenda as minority caucus of the House, particularly the PDP, that we shall drive and make sure that the Electoral Act as to be amended and the time for it is now.”
Okechukwu said there was need to address some of these imperfections that have manifested in very clear forms in these elections, stressing that what had been harvested as the symptoms of the challenges should responded to in amendment of the Electoral Act.
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