Prominent Lagos indigenes under the umbrella body of Ọmọ Eko Pataki have condemned the roles played by Senators and House of Representatives members from Lagos State during the passage of the amendment to Independent National Electoral (INEC) Bill, saying it was unfortunate and more worrisome that all three Senators from the state voted against a bill that would have mandated electronic voting system in the country.
The group gave this condemnation in a signed statement by its Trustee, Major- General Tajudeen Olanrewaju (rtd), who is also former Minister of Communications, even as it also condemned the parliamentarians’ role in passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) whose original intent, according to it, was to benefit the indigenous oil producing communities.
Olanrewaju lamented that through the disgraceful role played by the affected lawmakers from the state, the original intent of the bill “is now basically negated and frittered,” contending that the lawmaking process should never be about personal gains or selfish absorption, but should always be about the greater good of the electorate as well as being always about the growth and the development of the society.
“It is rather disappointing and sad that the Lagos lawmakers in Abuja are increasingly self-centred, untidy and indifferent to the sole purpose of representing the interests of our people at the two chambers of the National Assembly.
“For whatever reason best known to them, they seem motivated by myopic partisan concerns rather than the pursuit of the welfare of the ordinary Lagosians who voted them into office.
“Of particular concern to us at Ọmọ Eko Pataki is the disgraceful roles played by our Senators and House of Representatives members during the passage of the Independent National Electoral Bill that would have mandated electronic voting system and the Petroleum Industry Bill whose original intent to benefit the indigenous oil-producing communities is now basically negated and frittered.
“The lawmaking process should never be about personal gains or selfish absorption. It should always be about the greater good of the electorate. It should always be about the growth and the development of our society,” the former minister stated.
Speaking further, the group Trustee further lamented that it still beat reasoning and common sense why anyone would vote against electronic voting in the 21st century where the very dictates of cybernetic revolution had virtually eliminated all the cumbersome processes of manual procedures in all aspects of lives from banking to statistical data gathering, from power generating grids to sensors in military hardware.
Olanrewaju asserted that as former minister Minister of Communications, he should know that the increasing growth of digital technology had eased the challenges of modernity, and making the society more progressive, adding that manual voting was primitive and outdated as it gave room to several manipulations and ultimately disenfranchises our people.
“Unfortunately, not so here. Frankly , it still beats reasoning and common sense why anyone will vote against electronic voting in the 21st century where the very dictates of cybernetic revolution have virtually eliminated all the cumbersome processes of manual procedures in all aspects of our lives from banking to statistical data gathering, from power generating grids to sensors in military hardware.
“As a former Minister of Communications, I should know. The increasing growth of digital technology has eased the challenges of modernity, making our society more progressive.
Manual voting is primitive and outdated. It gives room to several manipulations and ultimately disenfranchises our people,” the elder statesman said.
“It is even more worrisome that all three Senators from Lagos state voted against electronic voting system. This is unacceptable. We should be seen to be moving forward and not regressing,” he added.
Gen.Olanrewaju, while condemning the step taken by the Lagos federal lawmakers on PI Bill said it really made no sense at all, considering the fact that the state as one of the oil producer would now be receiving a pittance of 3per cent and and not 5per cent as benefit, adding: “And yet Lagos legislators support this abnormality.”
“A lot is definitely wrong with the thought processes of our legislators. They are unrepresentative of the well being of Lagosians. They are motivated by personal bias and partisan prejudice.
“We at Ọmọ Eko Pataki strongly believe that all the legislators who voted against the interests of our people are not democrats.
“Since they are at variance with the classical definition of democracy which is ‘the government of the people by the people and for the people,’ they have no business staying a minute longer in their position because they have failed all Lagosians,” the former minister declared.