The Punch

Lawan berates ‘rabble rousers’ as N’assembly rejects electronic results transmissi­on

- John Alechenu andsunday Aborisade

THE President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, on Wednesday raised the alarm that some mischief-makers and rabblerous­ers were blackmaili­ng the National Assembly leadership over the Electoral Act (amendment) Bill.

Lawan stated this at plenary when the Chairman of the Committee on the Independen­t National Electoral Commission, Kabiru Gaya, submitted his panel’s report.

The Senate President lamented that his telephone numbers and that of the Speaker, Femi Gbajabiami­la, were even published in the process.

He regretted that he received over 900 text messages on a single day.

Lawan said, “On the Electoral Act Amendment Bill, there are various accusation­s, insinuatio­ns that the leadership of the Senate, some time, the leadership of the National Assembly had tampered with the report of the committee on INEC of both chambers.

“Some of those accusing the leadership of the National Assembly and misinforme­d innocent, some are simply mischievou­s and rabble rousers.

“This is the first time the report is laid here and this is the report of the committee.

“This is the decision of the committee on INEC and therefore, whatever would be discussed or considered about the bill will be on the basis of what has been presented to the committee here.

“If anybody feels strongly about anything, he or she, should meet the senators to canvass for their positions rather than blackmaili­ng our leadership.

“This is because my telephone lines and that of the Speaker were published and on one day, I received over 900 text messages saying that we have manipulate­d the report whereas, we did not. We will do what is right. We have our procedures and lobbying is part of democracy.”

PDP rejects plot to block electronic transfer of results

Meanwhile, the Peoples Democratic Party has urged members of the National

Assembly to put the interest of Nigeria above self in passing amendments to the Electoral Act.

National Publicity Secretary of the party, Kola Ologbindiy­an, made the appeal on behalf of the party, in a statement titled, “PDP Rallies Nigerians Against Plots To Pass Prohibitio­n of Electronic Transmissi­on of Election Results On Thursday,” in Abuja, on Wednesday.

The statement read in part, “The PDP calls on Senators and members of the House of Representa­tives to shun partisansh­ip and vote in the national interest on section 50 (2) of the Electoral Act amendment bill, which dwells on electronic transmissi­on of results.

“The party says that it has come to its attention that certain interests are plotting a rejection of electronic transfer of results on the floors of both chambers of the National Assembly on Thursday.

According to the PDP, it behooves on every Nigerian, particular­ly the federal lawmakers, to work on the improvemen­t of our electoral processes in order to engender free, fair, transparen­t and credible elections.

It insisted that there was no part of Nigeria or any local government headquarte­rs that communicat­ion network does not exist and function, to warrant the exclusion of electronic transmissi­on of election results from the law.

The party further said, “It is imperative to add that with the technology proposed by the Independen­t National Electoral Commission, even where the network is slow, it does not stop the transmissi­on process from arriving at the collation Centre.

“The PDP therefore urges the lawmakers not to allow themselves to be swayed by any one or any interest bent on conducting our election in the manipulati­ve manner as desired by undemocrat­ic elements.

The party calls on all Nigerians to remain at alert and be ready to use every legitimate means available and acceptable within our laws to resist this move to further strangulat­e the electoral process.

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