Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, yesterday insisted that Nigeria’s general elections must hold in 2015 despite fears in some quarters over the possibility of conducting peaceful elections amidst the insurgency in some parts of the country.
Tambuwal’s statement comes on the heels of controversies generated by the “election is not on the table now” statement credited to Senate President David Mark.
“I firmly believe we can go into elections in 2015; elections in 2015 should be held.What we need to do is to address insurgency before the elections and encourage soldiers to do the needful”, the speaker was quoted as telling a delegation of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) at a meeting which held at the National Assembly.
Section 180(3) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) says if the country is at war, there will not be elections.
Tambuwal also urged the NBA to step up action against politicians who violate the country’s electoral laws ahead of 2015 elections.
He told the NBA delegation led by its president, Mr. Augustine Alegeh (SAN) that in spite of repeated warnings by the Independent National Electoral Commission, (INEC), some politicians have kick started campaigns before the stipulated time.
Tambuwal said good governance has been relegated to the background as politicians abandon their responsibilities for politicking ahead of time.
“The problem is that some politicians are already in election mood, so the NBA should call the attention of those to stop forthwith”, he said
The speaker pointed out that insecurity and corruption were on the rise in the country and called on all Nigerians to join hands in the fight against social ills.
He said that the green chamber was committed to passing the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) before politics takes the center stage.
Earlier, the NBA president urged the speaker to expedite actions to ensure the speedy passage of the PIB and the Justice Sector Bill.
“The PIB should be given speedy hearing.
“I urge you to put it in the front burner, let it serve as a legacy for you”, Alegeh added.