The Southern and Middle-Belt Alliance (SaMBA), yesterday, urged the Senators to take advantage of the Conference Committee set up on the amendment of the Electoral Act by the President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, to redeem their battered image. The group stated that the 7-member Committee should proactively adopt the House of Representatives version of Section 52 (3), of the Bill, and further warned that the Senate should not subject powers of the Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) to the approval of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).
In a statement signed by its Spokesman, Rwang Pam Jr., the group stated that the setting up of a Conference Committee on the amendment of the Electoral Act, was a golden opportunity for the Senate to redeem its battered image following its earlier decision to subject the INEC’s power to transmit election results by electronic means to the approval of the NCC. SAMBA pointed out the anomaly in the Senate’s decision to subject INEC’s most important function to the approval of the NCC.
To address this anomaly, SaMBA recommended that the transmission of election results via electronic means should be as a matter of course and should be part of INEC’s core functions as it minimises the possibility of interference. Part of the statement reads: “The transmission of election results by electronic means is the pathway to a trusted, valid, free and fair election results. If the Nigerian Senate truly believed in trusted, free and fair elections, then the use of electronic means to transmit election results must and should be included in the Electoral Act.”