Rowdy session in Senate over ‘militarization of elections’
There was rowdiness on the floor of the Senate yesterday over the alleged militarization of the 2019 elections as lawmakers from APC and PDP engaged in hot exchanges.
In a motion on the matter, Dino Melaye (PDP, Kogi) and seven other PDP senators alleged that the entire electoral process was militarized and that the electoral umpire was inconsistent with the laws of the land.
Melaye who read the content of the motion said the development posed a serious threat to the country’s democracy with security implications that must be nipped in the bud.
Senate Leader Ahmad Lawan (APC, Yobe), while contributing to the motion said the essence of having the legislature was to provide legislative intervention whenever there was a need to do so.
He said the challenges of elections in Nigeria have been around for long, saying even the executive arm was concerned about the development.
However, soon after that, Minority Leader Biodun Olujimi (PDP, Ekiti) in her contribution said the whole election was a total sham as it was characterized by rigging and vote buying.
Olujimi’s contribution led to some senators of the APC to shout her down in disagreement as a result of which Senate President Bukola Saraki had to intervene.
Lawan also came under a point of order, calling the attention of Olujimi to the fact that she was speaking outside the subject matter.
There was rowdiness for few minutes thereafter with senators from both sides exchanging hash words.
But in the end, the four prayers contained in the motion were adopted.
The first prayer was that the militarization of the elections should be condemned, urging INEC to ensure the unrestricted and consistent application of all electoral laws without bias to a candidate or a political party.
The Senate also directed its committee on electoral matters to investigate all perceived inconsistent application of the electoral laws by INEC during the 2019 elections.
Senators equally urged President Muhammadu Buhari to assent to the recent amendment to the Electoral Act to ensure a level playing field and adoption of equal standards in Nigeria’s elections for a strong and peaceful democracy in the country.