On the motion of the alleged militarisation of the general elections, the Senate was on Wednesday divided between party lines when Senator Dino Melaye raised the motion.
Presenting the motion on the floor, Senator Dino Melaye warned of the growing militarization of the nations electoral process and what he termed the inconsistent application of electoral laws by INEC in the 2019 general elections.
In his argument, Senator Dino said that these things pose a serious threat to the country’s Democracy and have security implications that must be nipped in the bud.
The motion quickly divided the Senate along party lines, while the opposition PDP legislators supported the motion, some APC senators disagreed with it and this almost led to a rowdy session on the floor of the Senate.
Speaking in line with Senator Melaye’s motion, Senator Biodun Olujimi opined that the elections were not carried out to standard.
We are Nigerians and we are in Nigeria. What is wrong is wrong. This election was a sham. INEC parameters were different in different states. There is no wrong that can validate the other.
“We need to look at our electoral process. Rigging and vote buying was the order of the day. The legislator needs to look into this,” Senator Olujimi opined.
Senate Majority leader Ahmed Lawan argued that the electoral process is a journey and still requires fine-tuning.
“The essence of having a legislature is to ensure we provide intervention in smoothing governance in order to ensure fairness in all affairs,” Lawan said.
After a long debate on the matter, the Senate eventually condemns the massive use of military forces in the elections and urged INEC to ensure the unrestricted and consistent application of all electoral laws without bias to a candidate or party in all elections.
The Senate further resolved that they :
I. Condemn the massive use of military forces in the national electoral process of the nation.
II. Urge the INEC to ensure the unrestricted and consistent application of all electoral laws without bias to a candidate or a party in all elections.
III. Direct the Senate Committee on INEC to investigate all perceived inconsistent application of electoral laws by INEC in the 2019 elections.
IV. Urge the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to give assent to the recent amendment to the Electoral Act to ensure a level playing field and adoption of equal standards in our national elections for a strong and peaceful democracy in Nigeria.