By Musa Adamu and Ikechukwu Okaforadi
President of the Senate, Sen. Ahmed Lawan, had assured that the 9th National Assembly would prioritize credible and acceptable electoral processes which would meet the best practices for the citizenry.
Speaking when he hosted to the European Union Elections Observers Mission in Nigeria, led by Ambassador Keitec Karlsen, the President of the Senate said Nigerian government considered electioneering process of great importance saying, stakeholders in elections processes had lessons to learn from every election.
He applauded the European Union Mission for the recommendations provided on the last elections, adding that “your visit today is historic as the number one visit to my office after elections of the Presiding officers of the 9th Assembly. What can be more important than meeting with elections observers from the European Union.
“We consider our elections of great importance, we have lessons to learn and we want our elections to be credible and meet with best practices.
“The National Assembly has always work hard on electoral Act to ensure that we improve on the standard, your recommendations will fire us to a more better electoral processes.”
He pointed out that wrong timing was responsible when the amendment was earlier sorted, “this time, we will be quick to address all the grey areas and come out with better inputs.”
The President of the Senate seized the visit to requested more collaboration with the European Union Mission, urging the Union to help in building capacity of members of Nigerian parliament.
“We need to see an improvement in our electoral system, we solicit for your support to further boost knowledge of our members and Committees relevant to this course.
“We in the 9th Assembly will continue to work in a committed and united manner to offer the best to the electorate. INEC is one institution that has always been supported by the National Assembly. They also require more support and resources, the resources available are not enough for the enormous tasks. Our desire is that our electoral empire continue to be independent and improve to perform the statutory functions creditably well.”
Earlier, the leader of the EU Elections Observers Mission in Nigeria, Amb. Karleen congratulated the President of the Senate for his election as the 9th Chairman of the National Assembly assuring that the EU would continue to strengthen the collaboration with Nigeria.
Karlsen said Nigeria was an important partner of the European Union, adding that as an old friend and close ally in terms of economy, job creation, migration and other key areas, EU would continue to work shoulder by shoulder with Nigeria.
He said INEC invited them as monitoring body in the last elections, saying as an independent observers, EU visited hundreds of polling stations in the country during the polls, affirming that the exercise afforded the Observers to see events on self appraisals.
The EU Mission leader added that 30 recommendations were brought up for electoral reforms and another seven priority recommendations that were comprehensively arrived at.
Karlsen added that the reports were to correct anomalies in elections so that such inadequacies would not be repeated in the future.
He called on National Assembly to engage in an inclusive debate and dialogues in order to arrive at a more promising electoral system.