SPEAKER of the House of Representatives, Mr Femi Gbajabiamila, on Tuesday assured the European Union Observers Mission of the present administration’s resolve to embark on electoral reforms ahead of the 2023 general elections.
Gbajabiamila gave the assurance during an interactive session with the EU Observers Mission delegation led by the European Union Deputy Chief Observer, Hannah Roberts.
The Speaker highlighted the successes recorded during the 2019 general elections and acknowledged the existing collaboration between Nigerian Government and the EU.
He, therefore, stressed the need to deepen the synergy.
“We appreciate your collaboration and partnership as reeled out in the 30 recommendations and the seven priority areas on how we can legalise the recommendations but it is also important that we can also localize your suggestions,” he said.
Acknowledging the issues raised by the Mission, Gbajabiamila appreciated the Mission’s observation that Nigeria made significant progress in the electoral process during the last general elections.
“The take-away from your presentation among what you have read so far is that there has been improvement; I am glad you said that above what should be done,” he said.
The speaker who noted that lots were needed to be done, stressed that the 9th Assembly on resumption from the two weeks recess “will hit the ground running in terms of electoral reforms”.
He also pledged National Assembly’s resolve to “continue to improve on our system year in, year out until our electoral system comes of age”.
Gbajabiamila said that the present administration would not allow a situation where the rules of the game would be changed by the Electoral Commission.
He added that Nigeria’s government’s decision to invite the Mission to monitor the general elections showed its commitment to transparency.
Gbajabiamila also assured the mission of following international best practices on elections and electioneering process.
Earlier, European Union Deputy Chief Observer, Hannah Roberts, stressed the need for Nigeria to put stronger regulation of the process as well as compilation of election results.
Roberts also stressed the need for transparency, collaboration between Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) with Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and early preparation of requisite security measures ahead of the elections.
She decried the reduction in the number of women who were elected into the National Assembly during the last general elections, contrary to practices across African countries.
She also harped on the need to improve licensing system to Media.
– June 18, 2019 @ 18:35 GMT |