New Telegraph

December 7, 2023

Electoral Act: Mischief makers blackmailing N’Assembly – Lawan

*Tasks constituents to lobby lawmakers on interests

The President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, Wednesday, lamented that mischief makers were blackmailing the leadership of the National Assembly over the Electoral Act Amendment Bill, 2021, awaiting passage.

This was as he advised Nigerians to lobby their representatives in the Senate and the House of Representatives, to effect any changes they desired in the legislation, rather than blackmail or blame Parliamentarians, for deficiencies in the proposed Act.

Lawan stated this after a report on the bill was laid before the Chamber, attributing the accusations fingering the leadership of the National Assembly of manipulating the contents of the bill as the work of mischief makers bent on blackmailing the leadership of the National Assembly.

The report on the Electoral Act (Amendment) Bill, 2021, was laid by the Chairman of the Committee on Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Senator Kabiru Gaya.

The President of the Senate therefore, advised Nigerians to lobby lawmakers on any aspect of the bill they feel strongly about, insisting that the National Assembly would do only what is right when considering the bill.

He disclosed that the attempt by some elements to blackmail the leadership of the Senate and House of Representatives resulted in the publication of his phone number and the Speaker’s on various online platforms.

According to him, his privacy was invaded with over 900 messages accusing him of manipulating the contents of the Electoral Act (Amendment) bill.

Lawan, however, maintained that the National Assembly could only consider aspects of the amendment bill contained in the Committee’s report presented to the Chamber for consideration.

Lawan said: “There are various accusations, insinuations that the leadership of the Senate, sometimes the leadership of the National Assembly have tampered with the report of the committee on INEC of both chambers.

“Some of those accusing the leadership of the National Assembly are innocently misinformed; some are simply mischievous and rabble rousers.

“This is the first time this report is laid here. This is the decision of the committee on INEC and, therefore, whatever will be discussed or considered about the Electoral Act Amendment Bill will be on the basis of what has been presented to the Senate here.”

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