The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, has commended the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and security agencies in the country on the 2023 general elections, stating that they deserve to be praised.
Gbajabiamila who was re-elected for the 6th term at the Surulere federal constituency poll also expressed gratitude to the men and women of the security agencies who ensured the worst predictions of crises and conflict did not come to pass.
“Any objective assessment of these elections will show marked improvements from prior outings.
"This is not to suggest perfection but to acknowledge evident progress in our collective efforts to ensure elections we can all be proud of", he said.
The Speaker maintained that amendments to the nation’s electoral laws by the legislature, pronouncements by the judiciary and operational reforms by the electoral commission have significantly improved elections in Nigeria since 1999.
He further stated that the amendments to the Electoral Act by the 9th National Assembly have been particularly instrumental in improving the elections process through the use of technology tools to facilitate voter accreditation and transmission of results.
He acknowledged that each new election season comes with more aware of areas requiring changes to ensure a better outing the next time.
As a necessary first step, he said it behooves INEC to collaborate with stakeholders to conduct a meticulous assessment of the election process for further reforms and improvements.
He refered to the Electoral Offences Act is one area requiring action before the culmination of the 9th House of Representatives adding the Act is necessary to ensure effective enforcement against individuals and organisations whose violations of electoral laws undermine our constitution and threaten our democracy.
"A system of vigorous prosecution and punishment of electoral offenders will serve as a deterrent to others in the future and help build confidence in our elections.”
Expressing satisfaction with the constitutional amendments regarding to the devolution of powers to the states and strengthing the judiciary and legislature at the subnational level, he called on his colleagues to return to the issues of governance, ensuring that the institutions of government work towards the ends of development, national security and the welfare of the Nigerian people.
“As representatives of the people, this is our highest obligation; it is a duty that persists so long as we hold office in the government of our republic.
"I am confident that all of us in the 9th House of Representatives recognise this and will continue to act accordingly as we have always done."
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