The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC has been commended for improving the electoral process during the Governorship and House of Assembly elections.
The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon Femi Gbajabiamila gave the commendations after casting his vote at the Elizabeth Fowler Primary School, Unit 14, Ward G2, Masha-Surulere polling unit.
He said that INEC has enhanced its game compared to what was obtainable two weeks ago during the Presidential Elections in Nigeria.
“From what I’ve heard and what I’ve seen, INEC has opted its game. There’s been a lot of improvement in terms of preparedness by the commission. Materials came early, the staff came early, accreditation has gone well, BVAS has worked practically everywhere from my understanding. That’s on one hand as far as INEC is concerned. As far as the people are concerned, the electorates, the masses, I believe that It’s very very peaceful. You can see here in my polling unit it’s orderly and peaceful,” Gbajabiamila said.
He also said that what happened two weeks ago was a learning process for INEC which has been corrected by the commission.
The Speaker said; “I think what happened two weeks ago was a learning process. INEC tried to introduce a new technology which we all applauded. I don’t know what happened to the technology. It’s a learning curve and I think INEC has corrected whatever lapses or loopholes they had and we are seeing a much better operation this time around. You know the system is perfected. It is not perfected on the first day. It’s perfect as you continue to familiarise yourself with it.”
Gbajabiamila also said that every system required perfection.
He however lamented the low turnout of the people for the polls saying the number is less than that of the presidential election.
“I think the downside is the voter turnout. It has been incredibly low. The “mad rush” of two weeks ago is not there,” he stated.
Gbajabiamila also said that although there was a violent build-up to the election in Lagos, there was a need to continue to educate the people on the need to exercise their franchise.
He said; “It’s unfortunate! We just have to continue to educate ourselves and encourage people to go out and exercise their franchise. There’s freedom of movement, freedom of expression as enshrined in our constitution and voting for whoever you want is part of the freedom of expression. Your vote is an expression that is guaranteed under the constitution. So, we have to just continue to imbibe that culture of tolerance and allowing people to vote their choices.”
The Speaker called on the authorities to investigate and bring perpetrators of electoral violence to book.