Protesters demand open voting for 9th National Assembly leaders

Protesters demand open voting for 9th National Assembly leaders

- Report that the leadership of the 9th Assembly will be conducted by via a secret ballot process has been frowned upon

- Federal lawmakers have been urged by a group, Advocates for Good Governance, to use open voting in electing leaders of the incoming 9th Assembly

- Members of the group said open ballot will give the new leadership confidence and trust it deserves before Nigerians

A group called Advocates for Good Governance (AGG) on Wednesday, April 24, staged a protest at the entrance of the National Assembly, demanding the use of open voting in the election of leaders of the incoming 9th assembly.

The protesters numbering hundreds carried placards with inscriptions such as “No To Secret Voting in NASS,” “Enough of Secrecy in NASS election,” among others.

In a statement sent to Legit.ng, Duro Meseko, leader of the group, said they were at the National Assembly to register their displeasure with what he called “planned use of secret voting in electing leaders of 9th National Assembly.”

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Meseko said: “As I’m talking with you now, we are heading inside to submit our petition to the lawmakers in the Senate and House of Representatives. We are particularly interested in the activities of the National Assembly and contributions of various members and how they reflect the aspirations and interests of their constituents in electing leaders of the assembly.

"You may wish to know that every elected member of the National Assembly is a representative of specific constituents keeping tabs with unfolding developments at the assembly.

"We are however, dismayed by information coming from the National Assembly that the leadership of the 9th Assembly will be conducted by via a secret ballot process. More worrisome is the fact that the leadership of 8th Assembly has perfected plans to select leaders who will constitute a legislative cog in the wheel of progress of President Buhari.

"At this juncture we wish to remind the president that Nigerians are watching and are not ready to leave this important matter in the hands of NASS members alone.

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"We recall the heroic resistance of all Nigerians to the third term agenda of President Obasanjo. Patriotic Nigerians rose in unison and ensured that voting was done in the open and every vote counted to frustrate that infamous bid.We are ready to do the same again.

"Here, we cite the global parliamentary practice of electing leaders through open ballot. Except the 8th Assembly when the rules were circumvented, it is on record that successive election of the New Leadership of the National Assembly has been by Open Ballot system.

"We demand open ballot or a voice vote during the election of the New Leadership of the National Assembly. Only this approach will give the New Leadership the confidence and trust it deserve before Nigerians

"We also call on all members-elect of the 9th Assembly to be vigilant and defend the interest of his/her constituents and ensure that the election of the New Leadership is by Open Ballot system."

Earlier, Legit.ng reported that PDP was allegedly planing a secret ballot voting system to hijack the leadership of the 9th National Assembly, according to some All Progressives Congress senators-elect.

The APC senators-elect, who pleaded anonymity, claimed the opposition is ready to infiltrate National Assembly bureaucracy to perfect their plan.

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Source: Legit Newspaper

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