The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has announced a former Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremmadu, as the chairman of its committee on the proposed amendment of the Electoral Act as well as the 1999 Constitution (as amended).
The spokesperson to the party, Kola Ologbondiyan, in a statement on Friday, said the committee would focus on the amendments’ process that includes a constitutional review that “will entrench the desired federal structure as well as a review of the Electoral Act that will guarantee free, fair, clean, transparent and credible elections while eliminating loopholes that encourage violence, manipulations and rigging at many levels.”
Other members of the committee are Suleiman Nazif, Emmanuel Enoidem, T.J Yusuf, Kingsley Chinda, Sahabi Yau, Biodun Olujimi, Laurentia Mallam, Oche Otorkpa (Youths Demography), Joyce Ramnap and Taminu Turaki, who serves as the secretary of the committee.
Speaking further on the purpose for the committee, the opposition party said the committee ”would work closely with the National Assembly for more inclusive and accelerated processes in the desired amendments”
The party added that the committee ”would also ensure the collation of information from critical stakeholders as well as engage relevant civil society groups.”
The party urged all party members to avail themselves the opportunity presented by the establishment of the committee to make contributions towards the process.
There have been attempts over the years to amend the nation’s Electoral Act to allow it to adhere to global standards. There have equally been efforts to amend the nation’s constitution which, as presently constituted concentrates immense powers at the centre, at the expense of state authorities that are closer to the citizens.
In the wake of the 2019 general elections, President Muhammadu Buhari had declined assent to the 2018 amended Electoral Act empowering INEC to conduct and transmit election results electronically.
The opposition party and other critics of the government had accused the president of withholding his assent to avoid legalising the use of card readers for elections.
The Deputy Senate President, Ovie Omo-Agege, has also introduced a bill to start the process for a comprehensive amendment of the 2010 Electoral Act.
Both bills have passed second reading by the 9th National Assembly.
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