Elected lawmakers issued certificates of return by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) were charged to get cracking as soon as they are sworn in.
INEC Chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, frowned at the tendency of lawmakers to effect amendments to the electoral law very close to general elections. He said such amendments come too late, thus leaving the commission with little time to effect needed changes to make the elections better.
Yakubu remarked that “The tendency to delay electoral reform, particularly the review of the electoral framework, until it is too close to the elections, leaves the commission with little time to develop processes including regulations and guidelines, make required consultation with stakeholders, embark on effective voter education including sensitisation, train staff and organise deployment for the elections.
“I am glad that among the senators-elect are senators that we have worked very closely with and some of them have taken initiative or even sponsored private member bills to advance the cause of electoral reform,” the INEC boss noted.
Yakubu therefore implored the Senators-elect to work in earnest to introduce needed amendments in the Electoral Act so that changes can be passed into law in good time for better and freer elections in 2023.
Yakubu spoke in Abuja during the presentation of certificates of return to senators and House of Representatives members who were elected during the general elections conducted by INEC on February 23, 2019.
Among lawmakers that received their certificates of return were Senator Ike Ekweremadu (PDP, Enugu West); Hon. Pat Asadu (PDP, Nsukka/Igbo-Eze South Federal Constituency); Hon. Simon Chukwuemeka Atigwe (PDP, Igbo-Eze North/Udenu Federal Constituency); Senator Chukwuka Utazi (PDP, Enugu North); Hon. Tobi Okechukwu (PDP, Awgu/Aninri/Oji River Federal Constituency); Senator Mohammed Sabo (APC, Jigawa South West); Senator Philip Aduda (PDP, FCT); Senator Dino Malaiye (PDP, Kogi West).
Others are Senator Baba Kaita (APC, Kastina North); Senator Omo-Agege Ovie (APC, Delta Central); Senator Ibrahim Gandam (APC, Yobe North); Senator Abdul’Aziz Yari, (APC, Zamfara North); Senator Kaura Yahaya ( APC, Zamfara West) and Senator Ifeanyi Uba (YPP, Anambra South).