Electoral Act: I received over 900 messages of blackmail -Senate President

Electoral Act: I received over 900 messages of blackmail -Senate President
Ahmed Lawan

President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, has disclosed that his privacy was invaded by over 900 persons who bombarded his telephone lines with messages accusing him of manipulating the Electoral Act (Amendment) bill.

Lawan made the disclosure on Wednesday in a statement issued by his media aide, Ezrel Tabiowo.

According to him, following the publishing of his phone line and that of the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, he was bombarded with messages.

Kicking against what he described as “calculated blackmail” against the leadership of the National Assembly, Lawan said if anybody felt strongly about anything, the person should lobby distinguished Senators to canvass his or her position.

“Because my telephone line and that of the Honourable Speaker were published, in one day, I received over nine hundred 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,” he said.

He stated further: “There are various accusations, insinuations that the leadership of the Senate, sometimes the leadership of the National Assembly have tampered with the report of the committee on INEC of both chambers.

“Some of those accusing the leadership of the National Assembly are innocently misinformed, some are simply mischievous and rabble rousers.

“This is the first time this report is laid here. This is the decision of the committee on INEC and, therefore, whatever will be discussed or considered about the Electoral Act Amendment Bill will be on the basis of what has been presented to the Senate here.”

Lawan made his remarks after a report on the bill was laid before the upper chamber on Wednesday.

The report on the Electoral Act (Amendment) Bill, 2021, was laid by the chairman of the Committee on Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Senator Kabiru Gaya.

The Senate president advised Nigerians to lobby lawmakers on any aspect of the bill they felt strongly about, insisting that the National Assembly would do only what was right when it eventually considered the bill.

He disclosed that the attempt by some elements to blackmail the leadership of the Senate and House of Representatives resulted in the publication of his phone number and the Speaker’s on various online platforms.