National Assembly right to reorder election sequence, says Olowookere
A member of the House of Representatives from Akure South/North Federal Constituency of Ondo State, Afe Olowookere, has declared that the National Assembly has constitutional power to reorder the 2019 general election sequence.
Speaking while being presented with a commendation letter by the Correspondents’ Chapel of the Ondo State branch of Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Olowookere expressed the determination of the lawmakers to have their ways on the controversial issue.
The National Assembly had opposed the election timetable released by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), declining to have their elections conducted on the same day with the presidential election in next year’s poll.
Olowookere argued that the Electoral Act and the arrangement of election are part of the electoral law and that the Act is the prerogative of the legislative arm of government whom he said determines, designs and writes it.
According to him, “The National Assembly has the constitutional right and duty to do that. Let me say that there is a concept that is called majority tyranny. It means even at times majority legislators may be wrong but since they are the majority, their decision may prevail.
“The reordering may be an idea of some members and they brought it as a bill and it was discussed. But there are some of us who are not in support and argued that the reordering would even cost us more money because instead of having the election twice, it will now be three times.”
Olowookere however stressed that since the majority opinion favours it, “then, it is binding on all of us. We have to take responsibility for it. This is not the first time we are going to have it like this.
“I remember in 2003 when we had it; if it is not the first time, then, there is no need for any surprise. The President still has the power of assent, also too, the National Assembly has the power to override his refusal to assent to the bill.”