Senate seeks solution to election malpractices following 2019 experience

Edwin Akwueh, Abuja


The Nigerian Senate on Wednesday resolved to subject all allegations of  irregularities and breaches of the constitution and the law experienced in the Presidential and Governorship elections to a serious debate.

The debate is to allow the Senate find out the causes of the irregularities and come up with solutions including the possible signing of the last electoral amendment bill that was not signed by the President.

Wednesday’s resolution followed the adopting of a motion sponsored by Senator Dino Melaye, during which the Senate also hinted that it would be careful during the debate about matters pending in court.

Presenting his motion, Senator Melaye said the Senate must rise against all forms of irregularities and abuses of the law in the 2019 elections and beyond.

According to him, all legislative interventions that are required must be effected to avert a repeat of the irregularities in future.

Senator Melaye told his colleagues that the issue was not political but one which would help curb electoral malpractices in future elections.

“What I am raising this morning has nothing to do with political parties. I want to bring before this Senate, the elections both on the 9th and 23rd in this country and I believe that the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria shall not close our eyes to the happenings of those elections.

“I want that election to be debated on this floor. I want to bring a motion to be addressed by this Senate in the next legislative day so that the militarisation of the process, the abuses of this election, will not go undiscussed in this parliament for posterity sake,” the lawmaker added.

Senator Melaye further stated that the motion became imperative “so that solutions can be given and the president can also be properly advised and the electoral Act Amendment Bill be signed into law as we begin to prepare for future elections.

“This is my prayer. Let it be discussed as a Senate. We will debate and give accounts of what happened in our various senatorial districts with a view to correcting electoral malpractices,” he said.

But a few Senators who objected to the motion tried and failed to stop the Senate from debating it.

Senate President Bukola Saraki was able to prevail on the lawmakers to allow the debate to take place even as he assured that partisanship would not be allowed during the debate.

He cautioned Senators to always balance their political interests with the national interest.