Polling units is vital to elections not courtroom - Speaker

Polling units is vital to elections not courtroom – Speaker

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Polling units is vital to elections not courtroom - Speaker

Polling unit

Polling units is vital to elections not courtroom – Speaker. Tajudeen Abbas, Speaker of the House of Representatives, has expressed concern about the country’s electoral integrity, arguing that elections should be settled at polling stations rather than in courts.

This comes after he praised his colleagues for their dedication to service since the federal parliament’s inception on June 13, 2023.

These were mentioned by Abbas on Saturday in Abuja during his remarks during the House’s vacation for the New Year holidays.

The Speaker called for a minute’s silence in memory of members of the 10th House who died, including Abdulkadir Danbuga (Isa/Sabon Birnin, Federal Constituency, Sokoto State) and Ismaila Maihanci, member-elect representing Taraba State’s Jalingo/Yorro/Zing Federal Constituency, who died just days before the inauguration.

“The House recognizes the importance of electoral reform in strengthening our democratic institutions,” he stated. As a result, we took the lead in requesting citizen input on the Electoral Act 2022 and ideas for upgrading it to guarantee more free and fair elections while reducing the judiciary’s influence on the electoral process.

“Election results should be decided at the polling station, not in a courtroom.” Over-judicialization of electoral outcomes has harmed public trust and threatens the legitimacy of political leadership if not addressed swiftly and appropriately.

He praised his colleagues, saying, “From the start, we deliberately adopted a leadership model that is open, transparent, impartial, and inclusive.” This strategy aims to increase public trust and accountability, boost participation, improve decision-making, and promote new ideas in order to make the legislature more successful in carrying out its constitutional purpose.

“We reviewed and updated our Standing Orders to better adapt to changing societal and legislative needs, and we incorporated technological advancements such as virtual and hybrid meetings and e-parliament to improve efficiency and accessibility.”

“The revised Standing Orders are now well suited to address emerging issues and new challenges, such as global emergencies and the COVID-19 pandemic, which hampered the legislature’s effective functioning.” Our regulations have also been reviewed to ensure that they are in line with international standards and best practices, allowing for greater collaboration and uniformity in global legislative processes.

“During the review period, the House completed and presented a robust legislative agenda outlining clear and specific objectives that the House intends to achieve, as well as our legislative priorities.” This clarity is already helping to focus the House and its committees’ work and resources on essential concerns, while also making the legislative process more efficient and effective.

“The House Agenda identifies eight priority areas that have been carefully crafted to align with the Executive’s Renewed Hope Agenda and the aspirations of our constituents.” The agenda highlights the following major areas of focus: establishing good governance, boosting national security, economic growth and development, social sector reform and development, inclusiveness and open parliament, influencing/directing Nigeria’s foreign policy, and addressing youth unemployment.

Motions and bills

“Our legislative outputs in the last six months have been remarkable,” the Speaker said of the House’s work thus far. The House heard and acted on 962 bills, 500 motions, and 153 petitions. 120 of these legislation have passed the second reading stage. They are currently being reviewed and refined in order to meet some of the issues highlighted during the debates.

Another 120 legislation have been referred to committees for further review. We have also passed a number of additional bills, which have been sent to the Senate for concurrence.

“The Electricity Act (Amendment) Bill, 2023; the Federal Audit Service Act (Amendment) Bill, 2023; the 2022 Supplementary Appropriation Act (Amendment) Bill, 2023; and the Oath Act (Repeal and Enactment) Bill, 2023 are notable among these bills.” The Control of Small Arms and Light Weapons Bill, 2023; the Federal Fire and Rescue Service Bill, 2023; the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (Repeal and Enactment) Bill, 2023; the Niger Delta Development Commission Act (Amendment) Bill, 2023; the Nigerian Medical Research Council (Establishment) Bill, 2023; the Nigerian Peace Corps (Establishment) Bill, 2023; and the Nigerian Peace Corps (Establishment) Bill, 2023 are and more recently, the South East Development Commission (Establishment) Bill, 2023.

“On November 23, 2023, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu signed the Defence Industries Corporation of Nigeria (Repeal and Re-enactment) Bill 2023 that we passed.” It revoked the 1964 statute and replaced it with more recent legislation granting the Defence Corporation the authority to produce, store, and dispose of ordinances. All of these bills are designed to bring both short-term respite and long-term answers to the problems that have afflicted our society. We hope that by passing these legislation, we will be able to empower our citizens, improve social justice, encourage economic growth, and promote peace and security.”

“Over the same period, the House received and resolved over 500 motions, many of which brought to the attention of the House and the nation pressing issues affecting the people,” he stated.

“I have always thought of motions as one of the most powerful tools of legislative representation.” They demonstrate that, more than any other institution, the legislature is best situated to articulate the demands of the people and how to solve them. Oil theft, student loans, employment racketeering, the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board, guns, COVID-19 fund misuse, a 3% contribution to host communities, and the petroleum subsidy system were among the resolutions examined by the House.

“In response to the concerns expressed, the House established ad hoc committees to conduct investigative hearings and make recommendations for necessary legislative actions.”

“I am pleased to report that 25 of the 30 ad hoc committees have presented their reports to the House for consideration, and four have been considered.”

In addition to legislation and motions, the House received 153 petitions, all of which are awaiting legislative action.

“The House has made significant strides toward greater citizen collaboration in all of our key legislative activities.” This has been accomplished by involving citizens in legislative oversight, committee activity, and other legislative processes.

“These efforts have ensured that people’s voices are heard and that their input is incorporated into the legislative process.” As previously stated, when preparing the legislative agenda, the House held a citizens’ town hall, the results of which were integrated into the final text.”

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