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Senate President Tasks INEC, Politicians As National Assembly Resumes

Channels Television  
Updated January 13, 2015

SenateThe Nigerian Senate President, David Mark, has urged INEC to ensure that no eligible Nigerian is disenfranchised in the forthcoming general elections.

Addressing federal lawmakers at the resumption of plenary on Tuesday, Senator Mark said that the wishes of internally displaced persons who have expressed their desire to have their votes cast and counted must be taken into account.

He asked for support on behalf of the electoral umpire towards achieving free, fair and credible elections.

Senator Mark, who expressed concern about the worsening security situation in the North-East, also expressed disappointment at the utterances of politicians especially highly placed ones as the February general elections get closer.

“Politicians must desist from provocative and inciting utterances. We may be in different political parties but we are not enemies. We must educate, caution and guide our supporters and followers. Election should be an asset to democracy but where it leads to violence or acrimony, it becomes a liability.

“We must, irrespective of party affiliations, do our best to ensure free, fair, transparent and credible elections. At the risk of stating the obvious, I would like to emphasize that for us to hold an elective office, there must first be a nation.

“I urge all my distinguished colleagues to continue to set example for conduct in the public sphere. I am disturbed and saddened by the war songs emanating from many quarters, particularly from highly placed Nigerians who are threatening fire and brimstone.

“Elections need not dissolve into theatres of war. It is my belief that war mongering will only result in a legacy that we will all regret,” he said.

During the speech he had also detailed areas which the Senate would be giving priority attention to.

He assured Nigerians that the Senate would pass the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) before the end of the 17th assembly.

Senator Mark said that the Senate was conscious of the concerns of various stakeholders over the non-passage of the PIB and assured them that when passed, the PIB would have a profound impact on the future direction of the economy.