lUrges INEC to be fair in conduct of polls
lAs Senate adjourns plenary till June 7
By Henry Umoru
AHEAD of the conduct of primaries by the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC; the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and other political parties for the emergence of candidates for the 2023 general elections, President of the Senate, Senator Ahmad Lawan, has urged senators to accept outcomes of party primaries.
Lawan also asked political parties to conduct free and fair primaries and give aspirants a level playing field by conducting the primaries in line with the guidelines of parties and the Electoral Act.
Speaking yesterday in Abuja moments before the close of plenary and the announcement of adjournment of plenary till June 7, Lawan tasked the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, on fairness, justice and equity, which it earlier promised, as political parties move into the process of primaries.
Lawan, who noted that Senate was adjourning to enable senators participate actively in the processes leading to primaries, said all senators were contesting for one office or the other, ahead of 2023 elections.
The motion for adjournment was moved by the Senate Leader, Yahaya Abdullahi (Kebbi North), and seconded by the Deputy Minority Leader, Shuaibu Lau (Taraba North).
INEC in a timetable and schedule of activities for the 2023 general elections released on February 26, 2022, had directed political parties to conduct their primaries for the nomination of candidates from the April 4 to June 3, 2022.
Lawan said: “There are three presidential aspirants contesting on the platform of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, which we prayed that one of them will emerge as a presidential candidate, while a good number of them are set to contest governorship in their states, including senators on the opposition PDP.
“INEC has promised fairness and we are praying for INEC to achieve that fairness, equity and justice believing that the 2023 general election, the integrity of the exercise would not be questioned.
“Those who tried to contest when they win, we pray that they will be good winners, and for those that may not win, they should accept defeat because we believe that the process will be fair and square.
“The Senate will adjourn till June 7 to enable those contesting to submit their completed nomination forms. Of course, there are some of our colleagues here who are running for governorship in their various states and I know the exercise is starting immediately.
“Processing of forms for House of Representatives and Senate has started and we are expected to submit our completed forms tomorrow (Friday). It is very important that we participate in the process that affects us directly, as well as those that do not affect us directly – that is the State Houses of Assembly, Governorship and Presidential.
“Consequently, we have to adjourn to enable us participate fully in all these activities because we are supposed to be active participants. So, I wish all of us the best of luck.
“For the Presidential candidates, we are four and we pray that one of us will emerge as the candidate of the ruling party. We have the deputy Senate President contesting governorship in Delta State and many others contesting governorship in their various States.
“I wish all of them the best of luck and pray they will fly their party’s flag and for the rest who are coming back to the Senate by the grace of God, we wish everybody the best of luck.
“When we come back, we pray that when we meet each other, we shall all be smiling together. I am not aware if there is any body not contesting for anything here. It means a full engagement for all of us in the 9th Senate.
“Let me thank all of us for commitment to our job. We resumed two week ago, but we have to do what is expected of all of us. As we are going, should there be need for all of us come back, we shall do so because this is going to be a very busy period in our political history.
“If there is need to come back, we will do and if there’s no need, we will only return on the June, 2022. We wish Nigerians especially the political class and that this time, we are able to play according to rules. That we able to see things rightly and do things according to guidelines.”