The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) should work together to conduct credible elections in the country, the speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila said on Tuesday.
Gbajabiamila made this comment while addressing journalists in Abuja in relation to the House’s decision to pass the Electoral Amendment Bill last Friday despite the opposition lawmakers walking out of the plenary.
The house passed the majority of the 158 clauses of the bill intact including Clause 52 (2), which says INEC must be subject to certain conditions like adequate network coverage verified by the NCC and National assembly before transmitting election results electronically.
The clause generated major controversy and debate in the polity and tore the National assembly mostly along party lines as a majority of All Progressives Congress members supported it while members of the opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP) were against it.
But the assembly leaders, Gbajabiamila and SEnate President, Ahmed Lawan have justified the lawmakers’ position, saying they want to avoid any situation that would disenfranchise even the littlest fragment of Nigerians.
Speaking further on the matter, the speaker explained that the capacity of the constituents influenced the voting, noting that the citizens should not blame lawmakers who were in support and others against the electronic voting.
“Those who voted against electronic transmission believe that their constituents would be disenfranchised and you cannot blame me for that.
“Because I am not disenfranchised does not mean I should look dispassionately at what the other person is saying and those who voted for it believe that their constituents would not be disenfranchised,” he added.
He also urged Nigerians to await the recommendation of both INEC and the NCC on the issue.