Speakership contestant rejects open ballot voting

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The call for the adoption of an open ballot voting system for the emergence of the leadership of the 9th National Assembly has been described as mischief by the promoters.

A group of civil society organisations under the aegis of Advocates for Good Governance (AGG) had Wednesday morning started a protest at the National Assembly demanding that the election of the leadership of the 9th National Assembly be conducted in the open through open ballot.

One of the contestants for the position of the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Umaru Bago (APC, Niger) however said the call was an act of intimidation.

He urged his colleagues not to succumb to the intimidation but go out to vote on 10th of June according to their conscience.

Bago, while speaking at a media interactive session in Abuja Wednesday also said the statement credited to the Niger State Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) on Tuesday was misrepresented.

He said: “The call for open ballot voting during the election of the leadership of the National Assembly is crude, if the group behind it is serious, they should have asked that open ballot be adopted for the 2019 general election.

“This agitation is pure mischief. If I may ask, who’s afraid of secret ballot?

“If any contestants has the number and confident of victory, why the complaint over the system that is enshrined in our House rules and expecting the House to change its rule on the eve of election.

“I will advise our members not to bow to intimidation”.

Bago, who also denied reports that he has withdrawn from the race noted that reports credited to the Nigerians State APC Chairman that he (Bago) would not enjoy the support of the members elect from the State was not correct.

“All the Chairman said was that the parry in the State will toe the Party line, which is ok.

“What I will say is that it is 360 of us that would be on the floor on that day to vote,” he added.

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