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Yabagi Sani, the Action Democratic Party (ADP) National Chairman, has questioned the Independent National Electoral Commission’s (INEC) approach to putting the new Electoral Act 2022 into effect.
He claims that many voters have lost their right to vote as a result of the commission’s implementation of the new law.
Akahi News learned that Sani, who is also the Chairman of the Inter-Party Advisory Council (IPAC), was said to have said that any law that tends to disenfranchise the populace should be reconsidered because it cannot be said to be in sync with the constitution. This was according to reports that Sani was quoted as saying.
Sani questioned the commission’s handling of the new electoral law’s implementation, noting that the only issue INEC faces is how to handle the Electoral Act of 2022’s implementation in terms of deepening democracy.
In a Punch Newspaper report, the IPAC chairman explained that the commission needs to open the process up to everyone to participate despite being focused, committed, and prepared in terms of funds and logistics.
He argued that INEC’s released list of registered voters showed that many people were denied voting because the portal was closed, which is not democracy.
He stated that political parties and citizens are dissatisfied with that because the entire process is about allowing citizens to participate; therefore, if anyone introduces anything that restricts citizens’ participation, that is not democracy. “Any law that disenfranchises citizens in a democratic setting is bad,” he said.He continued, “That is a bad regulation in terms of democracy if you are hearing that people are being disenfranchised either because of the INEC timetable, which cannot and does not supersede the law.”
Sani made the point that democracy is about the people and aims to get as many people as possible to join the trend. He said, “It is not an autocratic system that we are practicing,” and that because democracy is about unhindered access to political participation, regulations should not be used to disenfranchise citizens.
“There is no evidence that the agency or regulation enhances democracy.It is incorrect.He stated, “The regulator ought to work toward opening the space so that people can enter, provided that they are not in violation of the law themselves.”
According to Sani, regulation is meant to facilitate the implementation of the law in order to advance democracy rather than stifle it. The law is power itself, not regulation.
He went on to say that the Commission ought to have granted political parties unrestricted access to democracy at this point.
“We are aware that the law must be adhered to, but it is perfectly acceptable if that law is not broken by individuals.He pointed out that “INEC does not comprehend democracy.”
In the meantime, Senator Kabir Gaya, who is in charge of the INEC Committee in the Senate, said that the Bill for an Act to Establish the Electoral Offences Commission would be ready before the 2023 general election.
He claimed that the bill had been sent to the House of Representatives by the Senate, which was awaiting its approval.
It is located on the drawing table.The Senate has already carried out its own, and the House must now concur and agree with that.We are working on making it ready before the elections in 2023.Gaya remarked, “We want to use it for this election in 2023.”
After harmonizing the version that had been approved by the Senate earlier, the House sent it along with five other similar bills that its members had sponsored for approval.
In an effort to improve Nigeria’s electoral process, the legislation is for an Act to establish the National Electoral Offences Commission and the Electoral Offences Tribunal to provide a legal framework for the investigation, prosecution, and other related matters.
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