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We’ll prioritise acceptable electoral processes for Nigerians – Lawan

President of the Senate, Senator Ahmed Lawan on Tuesday assured Nigerians that the 9th National Assembly will prioritize credible and acceptable electoral processes which will meet the best practices for the citizenry.

Speaking when he played host to the European Union Elections Observers Mission in Nigeria, led by Ambassador Keitec Karlsen in his office, the President of the Senate said Nigerian government considered electioneering process of great importance saying, stakeholders in elections processes have lessons to learn from every election.

He applauded the European Union Mission for the recommendations provided on the last elections, “your visit today is historic as the number one visit to my office after elections of the Presiding officers of the 9th Assembly.

“What can be more important than meeting with elections observers from the European Union.

We consider our elections of great importance, we have lessons to learn and we want our elections to be credible and meet with best practices.

“The National Assembly has always work hard on electoral Act to ensure that we improve on the standard, your recommendations will fire us to a more better electoral processes.” Lawan assured.

He pointed out that wrong timing was responsible when the amendment was earlier sorted, “this time, we will be quick to address all the grey areas and come out with better inputs.”

The President of the Senate seized the visit to requested more collaboration with the European Union Mission, urging the Union to help in building capacity of members of Nigerian parliament.

His words, “we need to see an improvement in our electoral system, we solicit for your support to further boost knowledge of our members and Committees relevant to this course.

“We in the 9th Assembly will continue to work in a committed and united manner to offer the best to the electorate.

“INEC is one institution that has always been supported by the National Assembly. They also require more support and resources, the resources available are not enough for the enormous tasks. Our desire is that our electoral empire continue to be independent and improve to perform the statutory functions creditably well.” he said.

Earlier, the leader of the EU Elections Observers Mission in Nigeria, Ambassador Keitec Karleen congratulated the President of the Senate for his election as the 9th Chairman of the National Assembly assuring that the EU will continue to strengthen the collaboration with Nigeria.

Karlsen said Nigeria is an important partner of the European Union adding that as an old friend and close ally in terms of economy, job creation, migration and other key areas, EU will continue to work shoulder by shoulder with Nigeria.

He said INEC invited them as monitoring body in the last elections, saying as an independent observers, EU visited hundreds of polling stations in the country during the polls, affirming that the exercise afforded the Observers to see events on self appraisals.

The EU Mission leader added that 30 recommendations were brought up for electoral reforms and another seven priority recommendations that were comprehensively arrived at.

Karlsen added that the reports were to correct anomalies in elections so that such inadequacies would not be repeated in the future.

He called on National Assembly to engage in an inclusive debate and dialogues in order to arrive at a more promising electoral system.

Sunday Olatunji
Dele Fashomi, seasoned journalist and communication teacher, is a holder of Master of Arts degree in Communication and Language Arts from the University of Ibadan in 1992/93. Earlier, he had bagged a Bachelor degree from the same university in 1984, after which he proceeded to the Nigerian Institute of Journalism, Lagos, in 1990, for a postgraduate diploma in Journalism. He had done many courses in communication, including the EU-BBC Editing Course in 2002. Mr. Fashomi combines effectively the practice, research and teaching of communication. And to date, he has published two academic works in communication: Issues in Communication Technology and Policy (2010) and Economic and Social Issues in Advertising and PR (2013). He had his first break in the Nigerian media in Concord Newspapers in 1990 and today, he has over two and half decades experience earned in several newspapers. He has been part of many start-ups, such as The Republic (1987), The Comet (1999), The Anchor 2001 - 2002; Sun Newspapers (2003); Westerner newsmagazine (2005 - 2010) as Editor; National Life (2011) as Sunday Editor, and Newswatch Newspapers (2012- 2016) as Daily Editor. Dele Fashomi is now the Publisher/Editor-in-Chief of newspaper online, which he started in July 2015. He is also into biography writing, with many books in his trail, some of which he wrote alone and one he co- authored with his mentor, Mr Dare Babarinsa, entitled:  Olabiyi Durojaiye - DARE TO BE DiFFERENT. He also guided and collaborated with Pa Olatunji Odusanya in writing his autobiography - AGAINST ALL ODDS. There are many other books in the works under his pen.