.Women’s Rights: Senate President pledges support for gender bill

*** Assures INEC of Senate’s Support

By Henry Umoru, ABUJA

FOLLOWING the decision of the Senate to bow to President Buhari’s observation as it amended the controversial Electoral Bill to include direct, indirect primaries and consensus for the selection of candidates by parties, President of the Senate, Senator Ahmad Lawan has said that laws alone will not be enough and if they are not operated properly, they may not mean much.

Speaking yesterday in Abuja after the Senate re-amended the Electoral Act, approving direct, indirect primaries or consensus for political parties in choosing their candidates, Lawan assured the Independent  National Electoral Commission, INEC of support of the National Assembly in the discharge of its duties.

Lawan said “we will still be around to ensure that INEC receives every possible support from the national assembly for INEC to conduct the 2023 elections successfully, transparently and with integrity.

“(And) that Nigerians will all be proud of when it comes to either off-season elections or the general elections in 2023.

“But laws alone will not be enough. We could have the best laws. If we don’t operate them properly, they may not mean much.

“I urge practitioners, politicians and INEC to ensure that we obey and operate the laws as provided in the Electoral Act.”

The senate president also congratulated the Senate and indeed the National assembly “for once again standing up to the occasion bypassing the amendment to the Electoral Bill 2010.

“This is one of our major pillars in our legislative agenda when we started in 2019.

“This is one of the Bills that Nigerians, particularly, are so interested in because it is one sure way of enhancing our electoral processes and producing leaders at various levels of governance. What we have done today is to respond to the observation of Mr President and we have done that very patriotically.

“Today, as the bill stands, there is provision for all possible options for selection of candidates from the presidency to the councilorship.

“The available options we have are the direct primaries, indirect primaries and consensus candidature.

“What this means is that political parties are now, once this becomes law, are now challenged to ensure that they choose what is appropriate, what is suitable for them when it comes to the processes of producing their candidates.”

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