…wants NASS to act swiftly
By Gabriel Ewepu
AN election observer, Yiaga Africa, Tuesday, expressed support for the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, on holding the election timetable ahead of 2023 general elections.
Speaking with Vanguard, the Executive Director, Yiaga Africa, Samson Itodo, said the Chairman of INEC, Prof Mahood Yakubu’s position on not going ahead to release the election timetable was right.
Samson said: “Yes of course, it is the right position to take and the reason is while to the commission issue a timetable now when the electoral bill is yet to be signed and concluded because in pursuit to publish any timetable by the time the president assents to the Electoral Bill the commission would have to issue another timetable, in line with the new provisions of the Act.
“So that is the right position to take the commission has to wait and is an indirect call to the National Assembly to fast-track the process of resolving the controversial issue and transmit the bill back to the president after deleting all those and addressing or resolving drafting errors.
“I think it is in line with the legal stipulations or requirements. This should serve as a strong call to the national assembly to conclude this process expeditiously because the clamor for speedy conclusion is just linked to the fact that what INEC has said.
“It is what we were trying to avoid that the timetable cannot be released or they cannot release the timetable because what is the legal basis for releasing the timetable, the major basis is if the commission releases the timetable base on the current electoral law, and then two or three weeks later the new law comes into office, it comes into force we will be very confuse that is why it is important that this process is concluded early so that it helps INEC with its planning and preparations.”
However, speaking on the promise made by the National Assembly on Tuesday of looking into the Electoral Bill and re-transmitting it expeditiously, he (Itodo) said members of NASS should know that the nation is in national election emergency and should act swiftly.
“I think it is important that you note that we are actually in the spirit of national election emergency and our political leaders in the National Assembly need to recognize that and take prompt legislative action.
“It is good that the leadership or the speaker spoke and the speech were mentioned the importance of concluding this process early that no doubt about the truth is the National Assembly needs to act and put actions to the words that have been issued by the leadership of the National Assembly.
“So, I believe they can do this, they can act on it before 24 hours but they must also bear in mind that this is the time to elevate, defend public interest as against our own personal or self-serving interest.
“This is the time for the National Assembly to write its name in gold, it is a time the President should leave a strong legacy of credible election, so there is no better time to take any decision or action than now”, he stated.