Speaker of the House of Representatives Aminu Waziri Tambuwal has said the 2015 general elections will mark a turning point in Nigeria’s history even as he called on politicians to thread with caution.
Speaking at a one day public hearing to amend the Electoral Act, 2010 organised by the House committee on electoral matters yesterday in Abuja, Tambuwal said it is the lawmakers’ desire “to ensure a level playing field for all participants in the electoral process and for a more transparent process of conducting elections in Nigeria.”
He maintained that there is a need for all stakeholders, especially members of the National Assembly, to tidy up every aspect of the regulations governing the conduct of our elections,” saying “if our electoral law is technically and morally sound, it will go a long way in ensuring that we have free and fair elections in 2015 and beyond.”
“The 2015 elections will no doubt mark a watershed in our nation’s history. As participants in this Hearing you have an opportunity and a duty to ensure that you contribute to making the elections the best that they can be.
“We are all stakeholders in this Project- Nigeria; therefore, there is a lot at stake. I urge you to look at the matters dispassionately, using reason rather than emotions, so that at the end of the day whatever you do here today will have a beneficial effect on the future of our country,” he said.
Tambuwal also lamented that 15 years after the return of democracy to Nigeria, “we are still talking about free and fair elections, autonomy of INEC, legal frame work of states’ INEC, time frame of elections, participation of physically challenged persons in our elections, conduct of politicians, internal party democracy, order of elections, voters registration and accreditation, and debates by candidates, just to mention a few.
“However, we must look at democracy as a journey towards establishing for our nation a more perfect system of government. So, at every stage, we must be willing to take corrective measures that will ensure that we do not miss our way and arrive at the wrong destination,” he added.