Election observer group, Yiaga Africa, has called on the National Assembly to hasten the consideration and passage of the Electoral Amendment Bill and the constitution review.
The group also called for immediate legislative actions that will address nagging security challenges and revamp the economy.
This was contained in a statement sent to PREMIUM TIMES and signed by the Director of Programmes, Cynthia Mbamalu.
While the group welcomed the lawmakers and commended their efforts at ensuring the peace and socioeconomic well-being of Nigerians, it noted that there is still so much to be done, as prevailing realities consistently threaten nation’s collective peace, security, development and national unity.
“As the National Assembly resumes, we note that a lot of work is still required in reforming our electoral process and amending the nation’s constitution.
“While we appreciate the gains thus far in reforming the nation’s electoral process…we implore the National Assembly to, as a matter of priority, conclude the process of harmonising this bill and transmit the same to the President for assent.
“We also implore that the harmonisation of this bill reflects only collective resolutions that are geared towards improving the conduct of elections in Nigeria, particularly as it relates to election administration, technology deployment for elections, inclusion and campaign finance regulations,” part of the statement read.
The group added that Nigeria risks losing any meaningful mileage in its quest for national unity and democratic consolidation if a new electoral framework is not concluded and tested before the general elections.
In the same vein, the lawmakers were asked to immediately conclude the process of amending the Constitution.
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“We particularly call on the National Assembly to consider the key issues in this Constitution review process which include the: Federal Structure of governance/Power Devolution, Increased women representation and vulnerable group participation in government, as well as Local Government Administration/Autonomy and Electoral Reforms.
The Nigerian National Assembly, Abuja.
“We, therefore, urge that this Constitution review process also features as a top priority for the National Assembly and truly reflects the wishes and desires of Nigerians.
“Yiaga Africa remains committed to supporting the work of the National Assembly in carrying out its legislative mandate to the benefit of all Nigerians. We join other civil society organizations and Nigerian citizens in solidarity as we demand a new Electoral Act and consistently strive to protect our democracy for our common good.”
Members of the National Assembly resumed from its annual recess on Tuesday and many lawmakers are optimistic that issues of urgent national importance like insecurity, electoral reform, constitution review as well as 2022 budget, will be addressed in the next few months.