Amid tension ahead of the declaration of the President-Elect, Speaker expresses confidence that Nigeria will rise above the worst expectations others may have of the country in this defining moment
Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila has called on Nigerians to be calm and peaceful as the country awaits the result of the presidential election.
Gbajabiamila who made the call while welcoming members back from the election break, urged aggrieved parties to utilise constitutional provisions so as to protect the sanctity of our democratic process.
“Our country has just been through a hotly contested general election. as we gather here this morning, the election results are still being collated and announced. We expect shortly to be informed who will be the next president of our republic and the people who will represent Nigerians in the 10th assembly.
Elections in a multi-ethnic, multi-religious and multi-party democracy too often devolve into faultlines, generating abundant conflict and controversy. The test of an advanced democracy is the ability to manage grievances and settle disagreements without causing fatal damage to the body polity,” he said.
He further noted that the Constitution of Nigeria and the Electoral Act governing elections in Nigeria, both define a framework of post-election dispute resolution and adjudication.
“This framework exists to protect the integrity of our elections.It ensures that when elections fail to meet expectations, contested issues of facts and law can be resolved through a due process within a legal framework befitting a constitutional democracy.
It is not in the interests of our country, now or ever, to advocate for or embrace extralegal interventions to resolve electoral disputes and address grievances. We must avoid actions or utterances that set the stage for interventions that could be fatal to our democracy and the gains we have made over the last two decades.
This is the time, despite whatever disappointments we may each feel, to reject considerations of partisan and other interests to come together and make sure first that our country survives and our imperfect democracy continues its march towards progress and a more perfect union. This is the time for political, social, religious and economic leaders across the nation to work steadfastly together towards the ends of law and due process,” he added.
The Speaker expressed his confidence that Nigeria will rise above the worst expectations others may have of the country in this defining moment.
“We will resist malign actors seeking to exploit this moment of tension for their own ends. We will defeat the cynicism of those waiting to see their worst predictions for our country become real. Nigeria will be at peace because we will work through the law and due process to resolve differences, settle disputes and ensure the peaceful transition of power,”. Gbajabiamila said.
He further noted that in the meantime, the work of governance continues in the House of Representatives even as it counts down to the end of the 9th Assembly.
“We will also begin to prepare transition notes at the Committee levels, as earlier proposed, as part of our reforms to build institutional memory and ensure continuity in governance. And we will continue reviewing legislative actions, interventions, successes and failures relating to the implementation of the 9th House of Representatives legislative agenda, which we began in January. As I said then, this is the basis of our report card to the Nigerian people at the end of our term,”. he said.
The Lagos lawmaker congratulated members of the Green Chamber who won their elections and encouraged those who lost their seats not to be deterred.
The House stepped down two bills before adjourning plenary till Wednesday.