Former Senate Deputy President, Ike Ekweremadu, on Monday, affirmed that electronic transmission of results was best for the forthcoming 2023 general elections.
He lamented however that just as happened in the last National Assembly, non progressives were using their numbers to kill the bill to advance the electoral process in the country, even as he assured that others would ensure that the bill on electronic transmission of results will still see the light of day.
Ekweremadu, who represents Enugu West senatorial district, appealed that the controversies surrounding the issue at the National Assembly should not be reduced to party or sectional dichotomies.
The Federal lawmaker, who was not at plenary of Thursday, July 15, when the Senate voted on the Electoral Act Repeal and Re-enactment Bill as he was on an official assignment in Montenegro, said there was still hope that the bill would make the constitution amendment.
In a statement by his media aide, Uche Anichukwu, Ekweremadu said every lawmaker was expected to vote in support of what is best for the country, despite party differences.
The statement reads: “It is unfortunate that just as was the case in the last National Assembly when efforts to better the quality of our elections were serially frustrated and it was eventually not signed into law by Mr. President, non-progressives are equally frustrating the current exertions. But that is not enough to assume that everybody, who was not present at the July 15 plenary, simply chickened out. Why would Ekweremadu chicken out?
“Ekweremadu acknowledges that vested political interests obviously never wanted electronic transmission of results to come to fruition. They used their number to block it. However, it is also a fact that the vehemence of those minded against such reform is not new. The Senator nearly lost his life in this cause as armed criminals stormed the Senate on April 18, 2018 to cart away the mace and truncate the discussion of the Electoral Act Amendment Bill, which included electronic conduct of elections. Ekweremadu presided on that fateful day. It is on record that the lawmaker stood his ground.
“Despite all the odds that have been stacked against him, Ekweremadu has remained consistent and true to his political beliefs and conscience, refusing to legislate out of fear or to fear to legislate.
“It is very unfortunate that those who rode to power on the back of the electoral reforms and conducive democratic environment engendered by PDP administrations have continued to take various caustic measures to frustrate further electoral reforms.
“Ekweremadu is not deterred by attacks on his person by the uninformed over the outcome of the voting on the electronic transmission of results.”
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