By Oluwakayode Banjo
The joint committee of the 10th National Assembly on electoral matters is working assiduously to improve the nation’s electoral process.
This is contained in a statement by the senator representing Oyo South Federal Constituency for the All Progressives Congress, APC, Sharafadeen Alli, and signed by his Special Adviser on Media, Mr Akeem Abas and made available to newsmen on Wednesday in Ibadan.
Alli, the Chairman Senate Committee on Electoral Matters, disclosed this while featuring on a Channels Television programme “Sunrise Daily”.
He said that the last general election was better than previous elections, adding there have been significant improvements in the electoral process.
The lawmaker commended the 9th National Assembly under the leadership of Senator Ahmed Lawan for passing the 2022 Electoral law which allowed the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System, BVAS, as a game changer.
He said the Electoral Act 2022 brought lots of improvements to the voting process and other legislations concerning the election.
“We will work assiduously to ensure improvement on the technology deployed for the electoral process and guidelines already in place,” he said.
On technology, he said that efforts would be made to ensure the BVAS machine stores data to prevent constant reconfiguration of the machine by INEC.
The lawmaker, who said that the electoral law does not mandate INEC to upload results on a portal, said they would mandate INEC to upload every result on the portal in the coming elections.
“We were in Lagos some days back for a retreat. By the 28th of this month, we are having another town hall meeting here in Abuja to ensure people bare their minds on the electoral laws”.
“We, in the 10th Senate will ensure laws are made to have positive impacts on the electoral process and our people. We want to ensure that by next year, we will have made lots of improvements,” he said.
Alli said that they would abridge the time for filing and concluding petitions, adding that pre-election matters must be concluded before elections, while election matters are concluded before swearing-in.
The lawmaker said that the majority of Nigerians and INEC itself want the commission unbundled in terms of functions, while every matter concerning the electoral process would be looked into to allow for more transparency in our electoral system.
He agreed that there were no perfect elections anywhere in the world, saying the electoral process in Nigeria was getting better on a daily basis.
“Perfection is relative. We still have issues with elections across the world. If we can improve the electoral process to get 90 per cent perfection, then we are good for it,” he said.
Alli, who was part of the team that monitored the just concluded Liberian presidential election, described it as well-organised, transparent and fair.
The lawmaker lauded the patriotism displayed by Liberians during the election, urging Nigerians to emulate such an attitude as they look forward to a greater country.