The National Assembly has, today 13th of July, 2021, rejected the nomination of Mrs. Lauretta Onochie as INEC commissioner. We commend this move by the Senate, especially for listening to the yearnings of Nigerians towards the proposed nomination.
However, YVote Naija believes this is only the first step in the demands of Nigerians. The ongoing review of the electoral act has come under scrutiny due to the insertion of some proposed provisions.
Before now, the Senate reversed the proposed section 50(2) prohibiting INEC from conducting electronic transmission of election results from polling units. Yet, there are still more.
- Increase in the Limits to Campaign Expenses
Nigerians expected this bill to mitigate the influence of money on the electoral process by reducing spending limits. Unfortunately, section 88 of the bill has proposed a significant increase in political parties’ spending on campaigns.
While we understand the need for an increase, the proposed increase is outrageous. For example, the twenty-five-fold increase to the limits for the gubernatorial candidate means that political parties are more likely to nominate candidates they consider to be capable financially. This is not good for our politics as it allows the highest bidder and not on merit.
- Preventing INEC from reviewing and correcting declared results
We believe this law will enable politicians to pressure electoral officials to make false declarations. INEC officials should be allowed to review results and correct anomalies whenever necessary.
We call on the Assembly’s leadership, Senate President Ahmed Lawan, and Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila, to protect the integrity of the electoral commission. We believe every amendment to the electoral law must improve the electoral process. This is the demand of Nigerians which the National Assembly must fulfil.
Convener, YVote Naija