Cost of non-returning lawmakers heavy for democracy — Lawan, Senate President

About 31 days to the presidential and National Assembly elections slated for Saturday, February 25, the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, has said the cost of non-returning lawmakers was too heavy on the country and democracy.

Speaking on Wednesday at the end of plenary, the Senate President lamented that many Senators may not return for the 10th Senate in June.

He said that the casualties have always been too heavy and too expensive for the nation and for democracy.

He on the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to conduct free, fair and credible elections, just as he also urged the security agencies to ensure violent-free elections.

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Lawan said: “The Senate will start its recess from today (Wednesday) and this is to enable Senators participate fully in the campaigns for their return or for their political parties.

“The elections of the National Assembly (members) together with that of the President, will take place on the 25th of February, 2023 that we all know.

“It is our prayer and hope is that, for those of us who are going to participate in the National Assembly elections in the Senate, God Almighty would be on our side.

“This is because we need to have those who would provide institutional memory to be around.

“The casualties have always been too heavy and too expensive for our country and for democracy in Nigeria.

“That is not to say that Nigerians should not have the way they want to elect their members of the National Assembly.

“But it pays to retain parliamentarians if they are doing their job well.

“Because it helps the institution or the parliament in building and working for the people and for the country.

“We also pray that INEC conducts very free, fair and credible elections. This Senate and indeed the National Assembly has supported INEC to the teeth.

“Almost everything that was requested for INEC was approved here in the National Assembly. We expect that INEC will be on top of its game.

“When we come back on February 28, three days after the presidential and National Assembly elections, our hope is that we come back here and review the situation that would have taken place.

“But we pray that what we review should all be on the positive side.

“And for one legislative week, we will be in the chamber to March 1, before we will also go for the gubernatorial and state houses of assembly campaigns and elections of March 11.”

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