By: Joy Odor/Abuja
Senate President, Alhaji Ahmad Lawan has assured Nigerians that the 9th National Assembly would prioritise credible and acceptable electoral processes which will meet the best practices for the citizenry.
Speaking when he played host to the European Union Elections Observers Mission in Nigeria, led by Ambassador Keitec Karlsen in his office, Lawan, who is the chairman of the National Assembly, said Nigerian government considered electioneering process of great importance, saying stakeholders in elections processes have lessons to learn from every election.
He commended the European Union Mission for the recommendations provided on the last elections, “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”, Lawan assured.
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 Senate President, however, requested more collaboration between the legislature and 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”, he stressed.
Earlier, the leader of the EU Elections Observers Mission in Nigeria, Ambassador Keitec Karleen assured that the EU will continue to strengthen the collaboration with Nigeria.
Karlsen said Nigeria is 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 will 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.
Karlsen added that 30 recommendations were brought up for electoral reforms and another seven priority recommendations that were comprehensively arrived at.
He added that the reports were to correct anomalies in elections so that such inadequacies would not be repeated in the future