The Senate President Dr. Ahmad Ibrahim Lawan advises Nigerians to focus their efforts on lobbying lawmakers rather than blackmailing the National Assembly leadership for allegedly tampering with the INEC findings on the Electoral Act (Amendment) Bill, 2021.
Some Nigerians have recently claimed that the National Assembly leadership tampered with the Electoral Act report slated to be debated on Thursday.
However, the agitators claimed that the leadership of both chambers had removed the clause allowing for electronic transmission of results from 8, 809 wards.
Last week, both the Senate President and Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, denied the allegations.
In plenary on Tuesday, Lawan described the claims of bill manipulation as the work of blackmailers bent on blackmailing National Assembly leadership.
Senator Kabiru Gaya (APC Kano South), chairman of the Senate Committee on INEC, laid the report for consideration.
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On any part of the bill, the Senate President urged Nigerians to push lawmakers, adding that the National Assembly would only do what was right.
He revealed that some forces attempted to blackmail Senate and House leadership by publishing his and the Speakers’ phone numbers on various online platforms.
Over 900 messages accused him of manipulating the bill’s contents, he added.
The Senate President, thowever, insisted that the National Assembly can only consider portions of the amended bill included in the Committee’s report.
“There are various accusations, insinuations that the leadership of the Senate, sometimes the leadership of the National Assembly have tampered with the report of the committee on INEC of both chambers.
“Some of those accusing the leadership of the National Assembly are innocently misinformed, some are simply mischievous and rabble-rousers.
“This is the first time this report is laid here. This is the decision of the committee on INEC and, therefore, whatever will be discussed or considered about the Electoral Act Amendment Bill will be on the basis of what has been presented to the Senate here.
“If anybody feels very strongly about anything, lobby distinguished Senators to canvass for your position, rather than blackmail our leadership, because my telephone line and that of the Honourable Speaker were published. In one day, I received over 900 messages saying we have manipulated this, we didn’t.
“We will do what is right, we have our procedures and lobbying is part of democracy” Lawan clamied.