National Assembly appeals to Nigerians to participate in Abuja Electoral reforms Town Hall

…assures of implementation of decisions

The National Assembly has appealed to Nigerians to consider as priority the forthcoming Town Hall meering in Abuja on Electoral reforms assuring that all decisions arrived at would be fully implemented.

The Chairman House of Representatives Committee on INEC, Hon Bayo Balogun who gave this assurance on a monitored Interview in Lagos said arrangements have been concluded for a successful forum.

The proposed Citizens Town Hall on Electoral Reforms scheduled for Ladi Kwali Hall, Sheraton Hotels, Abuja was for all stakeholders to brainstorm on how to improve on the Electoral Act to address lapses during electioneering process in the country.

According to him, similar exercise organised by the National Assembly in the past gave birth to the introduction of Card Reader and BVAS used now during elections in the country.

Balogun explained that the forum will take a critical look at complaints from Nigerians that INEC currently carries too much responsibilities and that it should be unbundled for improved performance.

Responding to questionn on whether the President should appoint the INEC Chairman, the federal lawmaker recalled that Prof Attahiru Jega was appointed by former President, Goodluck Jonathan who was defeated during 2015 Presidential poll.

He further said and i quote” Even some Kings are in court today over dispute on who should occupy the stool. Our NBA conducts election and aggrieved members decided to seek redress in court telling us that there is no perfect law or system. Technology is good but some Nigerian youths have also devised means to manipulate it. It is very sad today the level of fraud against nnocent people with the help of technology”. End of quote.

Speaking further, the lawmaker representing Ibeju Lekki Federal Constituency noted that most of the crisis in the political parties starts from lack of internal democracy.

He said it begins with primary election where candidates of the parties are produced.

On the purchase of SUV cars for members of the National Assembly, Balogun was of the view that the matter has being politicised adding they are yet to take delivery of the vehicles.

According to him, the lawmakers are also like workers that deserves to have necessary tools to work with.

On what he has done in Ibeju Lekki Federal constituency, Hon Bayo Balogun explained that several residents have been empowered through the poverty alleviation projects and other interventions.

Nigerians need to come out and not seat back complaining against what is wrong in the country. People should send Memorandum on their views to the committee. Our roles is to make laws but will ensure the Executive provides basic infrastructure like Roads, housing, Education and Health care.” he added.

The 2023 General Elections according to him remains the best in the country saying it was difficult for politicians to manipulate and write results like in the past because of the use of BVAS.

He stated that the National Assembly is working towatds curbing vote buying during our Elections. Vote buying does not occur only on the day of elections.

Hon Balogun said Nigerians should not blame the courts for sacking some elected officials adding some were sacked because their parties didn’t follow due process in conducting their primaries.

He said that the current Voter register used by INEC with about 87m PVC distributed to voters started in 2006. He however said that the figure was high becauae some people registered in many places, some have died, while some relocate from one place to another.

We are looking into the INEC Register to clean it up and I believe we could have about 40m at the end of the day. The 25m voters that participated in 2023 general elections was relatively the highest in the nation’s history. The Town Hall Meeting would be taken to different Geo political zones in the country for Traditional rulers, market women and others to attend.

Hon Bayo Balogun concluded that hunger and poverty in the land affects everyone but says the federal government is attending to them and will yield good results soon.

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