By Deji Elumoye
The Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, has disclosed that a draft bill for the repeal of 2010 Electoral Act will be presented before the National Assembly as it resumes from extended Christmas holiday on February 9.
Yakubu spoke yesterday in Abuja during the submission of the report to the National Assembly Joint Technical Committee on INEC and Electoral Matters to Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege.
“As the National Assembly resumes on February 9, there will be a clean copy of the Electoral Act Amendment bill tabled before the Senate and the House of Representatives by the technical committee. With this, passing of the bill within the first quarter is more or less assured.”
He commended members of the committee for their commitment at ensuring that Nigeria has a brand new electoral act by the end of the first quarter of this year.
Speaking while receiving the report, Omo-Agege said once the electoral system was sanitised, every other thing would fall in place.
“The entire country will be grateful for what you have done,” the deputy senate president told the committee members.
Also speaking, Chairman of the Senate Committee on INEC, Senator Kabiru Gaya said the report of the electoral amendment bill would not become just another addition to the myriad of reports that had been shelved over the years in the area of electoral reform.
“We are committed to put in place the requisite legislative framework that will enhance the rebirth of a vibrant electoral system for our growing but delicate democracy. We believe this electoral bill when passed into law will be a stepping stone to climbing the steps of improving our democratic processes”, the ranking Senator assured.
Speaking earlier while presenting the report, the Chairman of the joint technical committee, who is also INEC’s National Commissioner and Chairman of Information and Voter Education Committee, Mr. Festus Okoye, emphasised that the report was a product of consensus.
He said: “We are not perfect; but we believe with the third reading of the bill, some of the imperfections will be corrected. It is still a work in progress and we believe it will guarantee credibility to our electoral process”.