I received 900 SMS in one day over alleged ‘doctoring’ of Electoral Bill – Lawan
Senate President Ahmad Lawan has refuted allegations the Senate had introduced extraneous clauses into the Electoral Act (amendment) Bill.
Lawan spoke following the laying of the report on the Bill by the Chairman, Senate Committee on the Independent National Electoral Commission, Senator Kabiru Gaya (Kano South) at plenary.
Key among the clauses said to have been surreptitiously introduced into the Bill was the ban on electronic transmission of election results by INEC.
He lamented that following the publication of his phone number and that of the Speaker, Femi Gbajabimila on social media, he received over 900 short messages (SMS) on his phone in one day.
The Senate President insisted that those who have accused the Senate of inserting clauses into the Bill either spoke out of ignorance or were simply mischievous and rabble-rousers.
Lawan said: “There are various accusations, insinuations that the leadership of the Senate or leadership of the National Assembly has tempered with the report of the committee on INEC of both chambers.
“Some of those accusing the leadership of the National Assembly are misinformed and innocent. Some are simply mischievous and rabble-rousers.
“This is the first time this report is laid here and this is the report of the committee. This is the decision of the committee on INEC and therefore whatever will be discussed or considered about the bill, will be on the basis of what has been presented to the Senate here.
“If anybody feels very strongly about anything, lobby the distinguished senators to canvass for your positions, rather than blackmail our leadership.
“Because my phone numbers and that of the Speaker were published and in one day, I received over 900 text messages saying we have manipulated this. We didn’t.
“We will do what is right. We have our procedures. And lobbying is part of democracy.”
The report of the Senate Committee on INEC on the Electoral Act (amendment) Bill is expected to be considered tomorrow (Thursday) by the Senate.