By Onome Oghenetega
The Deputy President of the Senate, Obarisi Ovie Omo-Agege, has said the introduction of the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) into the nation’s electoral process will enhance the transparency and credibility of the 2023 general elections.
Senator Omo-Agege, who is also the leading governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress in Delta State, noted that the new technologies will help in a great deal to eradicate ‘toxic votes’ from the electoral system.
The Delta Central lawmaker also clarified that he had no time claimed authorship of the newly signed amended electoral act by President Muhammadu Buhari.
The APC governorship aspirant spoke in Ughelli, Delta State, during a consultative meeting with the leadership and delegates APC in Ughelli North local government area of the state.
He called on the public to disregard the misinformation making the rounds that he alone wrote the electoral act.
Omo-Agege explained that he could not have single-handedly written the amended electoral act “as it is being claimed on social media.”
He also stated that the APC will resist plot by the ruling PDP in the state to use men of the Nigeria Police Force to intimidate opposition politicians.
“Going forward, we are not going to sit down and allow the state government to use the instrumentality of the Nigeria Police to intimidate our people. I may declare that, yes, they may wield power here at the state level, and that we are also available to checkmate the activities in Abuja.
“That was the thrust of the remarks that I made there but I also understand that there has been some misinformation and misconstruction of those remarks most especially to the extent that, I Ovie Omo-Agege claimed authorship of the new Electoral Act.
“So people should take a deep breath, don’t lose their sense of humour, no one person alone writes a bill and passes a bill in the National Assembly.”
On the controversial section 84 (12) of the amended Electoral Act, he said the section has been nullified by a Federal High Court in Umuahia, Abia State but currently being challenged on appeal by the National Assembly.
Omo-Agege said “It’s now up to the courts to exercise their section six powers of the constitution on judicial review to decide whether or not this section stays or should be deleted.
“There’s nowhere in the world, I will claim authorship when I’m opposed to section 84(12)”.
On the role of the BVAS machines, Senator Omo-Agege hinted, “We understand that when the first Electoral Act was promulgated in 2010, it was a good law. It was written and passed with the best intentions but in the implementation of the Act, so many imperfections, so many mischiefs raised their heads and ever since, we’ve been fighting and battling on how to address those mischiefs taken into account that the law is organic.
“In the course of the implementation, you find out the loopholes, the lacuna that you need to address and one of those is the introduction of technology to address those toxic votes that emanate from different places.
Omo-Agege submitted that, in supporting the electoral bill, his intention is for all Nigerians to benefit from the electoral processes as the 2023 forthcoming general election draws near.
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