June 13, 2009

Nigerians would be proud of Electoral Law—Bankole

By Ola Ajayi, Ibadan
SPEAKER, House of Assembly,   Dimeji Bankole  yesterday assured Nigerians that members of the House of Representatives would do everything humanly possible to give the country electoral laws that would serve our national interest.

He made the pledge yesterday in Ibadan when presenting a key note address at the 16th annual seminar on June 12 organized by Votas Assembly.

Bankole stressed that sole reliance on the electoral laws for credible election would not make the country actualize her dream but an enviable electoral conduct on the part of Nigerians.

Speaking earlier, the Presidential Candidate of the African Democratic Congress(ADC) in the 2007 elections, Professor Pat Utomi lamented that it was unfortunate that things are still getting worse for Nigeria’s democracy since the election was annulled 16 years ago.

Prof. Utomi regretted that June 12 left behind for us, historical consequence and that if we don’t do the right thing, it will still come around to us all.

“Unless we build an ideal situation, the problem will still be with us. June 12 has taught us to get things right. It cannot be wished away like Obasanjo tried to do. It made our country recognized the value of democracy”, he stated.

To get out of the miry clay of violent and unfair elections, he pointed out that Nigeria is in dire need of politicians who will respect the wishes of the people.

“What we have today is that we have a political class that is contemptuous of Nigerians. The votes of the Nigerians no longer count in the current dispensation. As a result of this, Nigeria is not making progress, he observed.

While saying the country’s quest for credible election was non-negotiable, Bankole added that this would not be achieved by legislations alone no matter how beautifully crafted our electoral laws are.

To achieve this feat, he noted that our electoral conduct was as vital as the laws. He argued that it was not only secret ballot that produced June 12 but the conduct of Nigerians across all the zones of the country that resulted in that historic mandate.

The Speaker who spoke through his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr. Kayode Odunaro said, “the challenge facing our nation today is therefore not that  of leadership alone.

Bankole said, “I am burdened to ask us as a people that our quest for a credible electoral system would not be brought about by legislation alone, no matter how beautifully crafted our electoral laws are. Our electoral conduct is as vital as the laws, if not more vital.”

“I insist that it was not only open secret ballot that produced June 12. Rather, it was with the conduct of Nigerians across all the zones of Nigeria that resulted in that historic mandate, he noted”.

He assured the gathering that the National Assembly would allow the contributions of eminent speakers at the event to form its deliberations on the electoral bills.