The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC Thursday presented certificates of return to Senators and House of Representatives Members elected in the 2019 general elections.
INEC however, did not present certificate of return to Rochas Okorocha, Senator- elect for Imo West Senatorial District and the outgoing Governor of the State for allegedly forcing the returning officer for the election to declare him winner under duress.
Mahmood Yakubu, INEC Chairman in a speech at the presentation called on Members of the 9th National Assembly to promptly begin work on the electoral frame work to avoid a repeat of the presidential decline of assent to the 2018 Electoral Act Amendment Bill.
Mahmood said the Commission will begin post election review and road map for 2023 as there is no time to waste and pledged the readiness of INEC to work with the National Assembly to review and strengthen the country’s electoral laws.
“I want to appeal to the Senators and Members elect to please start work early and conclude the electoral framework well ahead of the 2023 election.
“The electoral framework which was deliberated on before the 2019 general election was denied assent by the president several times. The President, Muhammadu Buhari gave irregularities in the bill as reasons for not signing it”, he noted.
The INEC Chairman observed that delaying electoral laws review until it is too close to a general election means vital lessons learnt from previous election are lost before the next general election while leaving the Commission with little time to do its job.
Meanwhile, Senators and Members of House of Representatives have pledged to put the welfare of their constituents through the execution of constituency projects on the top of their legislative agenda, addition to making quality laws.
Orker Jev Senator-elect for Benue North West said, “I already have agenda, just to expand and represent my people very well. There is hope we have new crop of lawmakers coming onboard and we expect to inject new blood but me I am not a new member. I am just moving from the House to the Senate so it is a continuation of the struggle.
“The fact that they (my constituents) have changed the person that was there means they expect things to be done different. I am very much aware of the problems of the people and what I need to do is to put them across. That is what I have been doing in respect of my Federal Constituency and I intend to expand it because my Federal Constituency was generally a rural settlement but if you come to the Senatorial District I am going be representing has the two biggest towns in Benue; Makurdi which is the state capital and Gboko which is the capital of the Tiv nation. So I am very much aware of the problems. I have being collating the problems and all I need to do is to push them across when I move to the Senate”.
Kabiru Gaya, Senator representing Kano South stated that: ” I thank the almighty Allah and my people for voting me again. I am think I am one of the most ranking members in the Senate, I am going to work harder as I have being doing for people who voted me four times so I will do my best on constituency projects.
“As they mentioned earlier that I am a Senate who has done more on constituency projects more than any other Senator in the country and I will continue to serve my people well”.
On Senate leadership Gaya said, “I am waiting for leadership of my party, the Presidency but people are calling that I should run for the Deputy Senate President and by God’s grace and permission of the leadership and the Presidency, I will run for the Deputy Senate President.
On his part, Henry Nwanwuba, a House of Representatives Member elect from Imo said,
“My people should expect more. My first tenure was very tough but I believe that as a ranking member I am more better positioned to attract development. I will make sure that members of my constituency get jobs”.
For Kpam Sokpo, a newly elected House of Representatives Member for Buruku Federal Constituency, Benue State, said he was prepared to provide quality representation for his people and expressed the desire to surpass the achievements of his predecessor by attracting more development to the constituency.
James Kwen, Abuja