Outrageous spending by politicians during electioneering period has been condemned by Femi Gbajabiamila
According to the speaker of the House of Representatives, there is a need to amend the country's constitution
Gbajabiamila said this will also be a strong penalty for anyone who violetes the the constitutional reform
The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, has said voter education and enlightenment could help increase the rate of voter participation in the forthcoming general 2023 elections.
Gbajabiamila also proposed amendments to the Constitution and the Electoral Act to regulate political spending and impose sanctions.
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The Speaker made the call at the Royal Institute of International Affairs, Chatham House, on Thursday, where he presented a paper on ‘Consolidating Nigeria’s Democracy: Prospects for Strengthening Nigeria’s Electoral Systems Ahead of 2023 Elections.’
This is according to a statement issued on Friday by the Special Adviser to the Speaker on Media and Publicity, Lanre Lasisi, titled ‘2023: Addressing Voter Apathy Will Improve Elections Outcomes – Gbajabiamila…Highlights the Need to Reform Campaign Finance Laws.’
Gbajabiamila said, “Voter education and enlightenment campaigns can help increase the rate of voter participation, getting more people to believe that there is power in the vote and that a ballot can change the course of a nation and improve the conditions of its people.
“Enhancing citizen participation is also about ensuring that the nation’s diversity is reflected in the composition of its political actors. The variety of voices, perspectives, and experiences can only improve the quality of debate and enhance the quality of outcomes.”
Speaking on the need to review the campaign laws of the country, especially in the area of finances for elections, he said, “Clearly, we need to reform our campaign finance laws and the entire system through which we fund politics and political operations in the country. This would require amendments to both the Constitution and the Electoral Act.
“To be effective, such campaign finance reform legislation will impose a financial reporting mandate on candidates and campaigns and impose severe penalties on violators,” Gbajabiamila stated.
The Speaker noted that it may help clean up the flow of money into the political process. “But there is a real risk that this ends up making the process more expensive by creating regulatory compliance costs. So, as we consider this option, we will consider others too and remain open to new ideas,” he added.
Gbajabiamila listed some of the steps taken by the National Assembly to ensure substantial improvement in Nigeria’s electoral system, saying, “After every election cycle, the National Assembly has initiated steps to document experiences, extrapolate lessons learned and, on that basis, amend the electoral laws to plug gaps and remove bottlenecks.
2023: The people love him - Children pick Kaduna APC guber form for their father
Meanwhile, seventeen children of an All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship aspirant in Kaduna, Alhaji Sani Sha’aban, on Thursday, April 28, bought the expression of interest and nomination forms for their father to contest the 2023 governorship election in the state.
Asmau Sani-Sha’aban, the eldest daughter of the governorship aspirant, said the children came together and contributed the N50 million needed to pick the forms.
She said the forms were gifts from the children to their father, who she described as an astute politician with great competence and ability.
“He has what it takes to govern and to bring lasting peace to Kaduna state. His chances of emerging victorious in the election are bright because the people love and admire him.’’
2023: APC group holds rally in Abuja, calls for transparent presidential primary
Recall that the APC Youth Development and Solidarity Forum recently tasked the party’s new leadership to consolidate on its rancour-free national convention to conduct a free and fair presidential primary.
To stand a chance at next year’s general elections, the group said the Senator Abdullahi Adamu-led executives must ensure that the party parades its most popular aspirant as a presidential candidate.
The forum made this known at a one-day rally in Abuja on Thursday, April 14 to congratulate Senator Adamu and his team.