The 2023 elections, according to House of Representatives Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila, were the best elections ever held in Nigerian history. The speaker acknowledged that the elections were not flawless but noted that it was nonetheless progressing in the nation’s efforts to guarantee trustworthy elections.
At the same time, the speaker of the House promised that the bill establishing the Electoral Offences Commission would be passed before its term ended in June.
When he welcomed his colleagues back from the governorship and state assembly elections, Gbajabiamila said this yesterday in Abuja.
“Any objective evaluation of these elections will reveal significant advancements over previous results. This is not meant to imply perfection but rather to recognize the clear advancement of our group’s efforts to produce elections that we can all be proud of.
The use of technology tools to facilitate voter accreditation and the transmission of results, according to Gbajabiamila, has been particularly important in improving the electoral process since the 9th National Assembly amended the Electoral Act.
“With every election cycle, we learn more about what needs to be changed to make the next one go better. This ongoing reform and improvement process must continue. The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) should work with stakeholders to meticulously evaluate the election process as a necessary first step. Further reforms and improvements must be informed by this, he said.
The speaker said, “The Electoral Offences Act is one area where we must take action before the conclusion of the 9th House of Representatives, while speaking on the bill seeking to establish the Electoral Offences Commission.
The Act is required to ensure that those who violate our electoral laws undermine our constitution and endanger democracy are held accountable effectively. Confidence in our elections will increase if there is a system in place for the aggressive prosecution and punishment of electoral offenders.
The constitutional amendment bills that President Buhari signed into law last week would advance the cause of Nigeria’s federation and bring the nation closer to realizing her highest national aspirations, according to Gbajabiamila.
“When the 9th House of Representatives started the constitutional review process, I said this was a chance to create a constitution that addresses many problems that divide our country and impede our progress.
“Last week, constitutional amendments approved by the National Assembly and ratified by state legislatures all over the nation were signed into law by His Excellency Muhammadu Buhari, President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
The devolution of powers to the states and the strengthening of the judiciary and legislature at the subnational level are among the consequential reforms to the structure and functioning of the Nigerian state that are included in these constitutional amendments, he said.