THERE was uproar at the 9th inauguration of the House of Representatives as some members were seen taking snapshots their ballot papers during the election of the Speaker.
The candidates for the election are the lawmaker representing Surulere I Federal Constituency in Lagos State, Femi Gbajabiamila of the All Progressives Congress, and the lawmaker representing Chanchaga Federal Constituency in Niger State, Umar Bago of the Peoples Democratic Party.
As voting proceeded, a minor disruption broke out as some members were taking pictures of their ballot papers as others complained that the secret ballot system, which had been adopted for the exercise, was being violated.
Some members could be heard saying loudly, “If you want to snap, snap!”
But the Clerk of the National Assembly, Mohammed Sani-Omolori, said, “It is very illegal to snap. The Electoral Act does not allow it, except you don’t want this election to go ahead. You cannot snap when you’re casting your vote.”
More protests erupted, which prompted the clerk to seek clarification.
The Clerk of the National Assembly, Mohammed Sani-Omolori, called for order, saying, “Please, we need some orderliness to be able to conduct today’s business. What we have done, in accordance with the rules, is to institutionally guarantee the secrecy of your ballot. If you choose to compromise it, it is your personal problem.
“So, please, we will not tolerate any member infringing on the privacy of any other member. Like I said, if you choose to do anything with your own ballot, we are satisfied that we have given you the environment for your secrecy.”
The assertion was met with cheers and clapping from some of the members. – Punch
– June 11, 2019 @ 17:59 GMT |