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Prof. Jega speaks to 2019 elections, projects likely outcome

SELYA YARNAP, Bauchi and CHINEDU WOSU, Yenagoa,


‪The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Bauchi State has  presented certificates of return to the 31 State House of Assembly  members-elect in the state.
Presenting the certificates to the lawmakers at the Development Exchange Centre(DEC) in Bauchi, the state  INEC Resident Commissioner, Hamman Tukur Sa’ad called on the elected House members to  use their mandate for benefit of all.
Hamman  Sa’ad  told them that their election was a true reflection of a nascent democracy, saying that  this time the will of the masses prevailed in their choices of candidates.
” If  you look back over the last 16 years of democratic rule from 1999 to 2015, you will agree with me that democracy is consolidating in Nigeria. The just concluded election was like a Tsunami because this time around the electoral process was free and fair. That is why most of you had the privilege to sit here today”, he said.
”However, it is sad to note that over the last 16 years, there have been a conspiracy by elected officers over the masses where state governors hijacked grassroots development thereby rendering  local government powerless,” he said.
He said, “The governors went further and hijacked the allocations of the House of Assembly in their states. This is not democracy as there was no financial autonomy of the House Assembly where members cannot run the affairs of the house.”
He urged the lawmakers to seize the opportunity given to them by the masses to make relevant laws that will benefit the people and checkmate the excesses of the executive.
Those issued the certificates were 28 APC, 2 PDP and 1 PMP elected House of Assembly members.

Similarly, in Bayelsa INEC has issued certificate of returns to 22 newly elected members of the state assembly that emerged victorious at the just concluded poll.

The commission also commended the elected lawmakers for their peaceful conduct during the general elections.

It would be recalled that 22 members out of the 24 seats in the state received the certificates while election is still inconclusive in two constituencies.

The two inconclusive constituencies are Ogbia Constituency 2 and Brass Constituency 2.

Presenting the certificates, Bayelsa State Resident Electoral Commissioner, Mr Baritor Kpagih, charged the lawmakers to be good representatives of the people who elected them.

 “While you receive the certificate, I urge you to be good ambassadors of your constituencies. However, it is sad to say that Bayelsa is the only state in the country that is still having an outstanding election in the two out of the 24 constituencies.

“I also urge you to keep preaching the gospel of peace, especially in the two areas that the election was still inconclusive.”

Responding on behalf of the recipients, Speaker, Bayelsa State House of Assembly, Mr Konbowei Benson extolled INEC on peaceful conduct of the general elections.

Benson, who was reelected as a lawmaker to represent Southern-Ijaw Constituency 4 said that the newly elected members would work in oneness for the good of Bayelsa.

“I believe that we are all good people of Bayelsa and our desire to serve the people is to raise the bar of peace and good governance. On the area that elections are still outstanding, we will continue to support INEC in ensuring that election is conducted in those constituencies,” Benson said.

 JONAS EZIEKE, Abuja  

A member of the House of Representatives, Hon.Pally Iriase yesterday said that the position of Speaker of the House should be zoned to the South-South geo-political zone based on provisions of the Nigerian Constitution on Federal Character principles.

Iriase who represents Owan Federal Constituency of Edo State on the platform of All Progressives Congress (APC) briefed newsmen on his intention to contest for the office of the Speaker.

An outspoken lawmaker of the 7th Assembly, Iriase stated that consideration should be given to lawmakers from the South-South region of the country in the Speakership contest.

He said “‎I am a foremost ranking member – elect from the South – South zone.‎ Section 14(3) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria provides that The composition of the Government of the Federation or any of its agencies and the conduct of its affairs shall be carried out in such a manner as to reflect the Federal Character of Nigeria and the need to promote national unity, and also to command national loyalty, thereby ensuring that there shall be no pre dominance of persons from a few states or from a few ethnic or other sectional groups in that Government or in any of its agencies.”

According to him, the incoming federal government under Gen.Muhammadu Buhari is bound to respect Federal Character, adding that except there is no qualifying member found from the majority party in a particular geo- political zone, you cannot ignore that zone in considering who should be Speaker.

“The President-elect is from   North West and the Vice President-elect is from South West, therefore, based on Federal Character provision of the Constitution, neither of these zones should get priority on the queue for National Assembly presiding officers.”

He, however, said that he is not anchoring his contest on the Federal Character alone but also on his managerial and leadership skills that will come in handy.

The APC lawmaker further said that it is unfortunate that issues such as this were not straightened out before the general elections took place.

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