Dino Melaye's motion on election militarization divides Senate again


Senator Dino Melaye’s controversial motion on the alleged militarisation of Nigeria’s 2019 general election caused another tension at the Senate on Wednesday.

A similar incident had happened last week Wednesday when the Kogi West lawmaker raised a point of order and asked his colleagues to let him bring a motion to debate the aforementioned allegation.

It was learned that while presenting the motion on the floor on 20 March, Melaye, warned of the growing militarisation of Nigeria’s electoral process.

But while the opposition PDP lawmakers backed the motion presented by their party member, some senators tied to the ruling APC disagreed with it.

This nearly resulted in a rowdy session on the floor of the nation’s upper house.

Backing Melaye’s motion Senator Biodun Olujimi from Ekiti state said the general election was a sham.

“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,” she said.

“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.”

As for the Senate Majority leader, Ahmed Lawan, he argued that the electoral process was a journey and still required improvement.

“The essence of having a legislature is to ensure we provide intervention in smoothing governance in order to ensure fairness in all affairs,” he said.

But the Senate generally condemned the use of military operatives in the elections and called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (Inec) to ensure consistent application of all electoral laws.

Below were the positions taken by the Senate:

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.



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