Lawan hosts Kenya’s ex-PM Raila Odinga, assures on credible 2023 elections

Seate President Ahmad Lawan, on Tuesday, assured former Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga that the forthcoming 2023 general elections in Nigeria will be the best ever.

Odinga, who was in Nigeria for annual Leadership Newspapers Conference and Awards, paid a courtesy visit to the Senate president in his office at the National Assembly in Abuja.

Lawan said the National Assembly had worked very hard to provide necessary support to the electoral agency and enacted the needed legislation to guide the electoral environment for the polls.

While commending Odinga for his roles in ensuring that Kenyan democracy is peaceful and stable, Lawan said “Election periods are normally periods that are described as uncertain especially in developing countries and Africa in particular.

“Many things are suspended. Everybody will tell you after the elections are over. Why? Because people fear that elections will bring violence and so much uncertainty.

“I think we need to continue to work to ensure that our elections are peaceful, credible, that the integrity test that we need to push our elections should give us every hope and give our people every hope that their votes count.

“I think with more certainty around our election periods, people will see election periods as those normal activities, that you can just go and vote and continue with your other activities. But we have to work hard to ensure that people don’t see election periods as periods of violence.

“I want to commend you and congratulate you for working to ensure the Kenyan democracy is peaceful and stable.

“I must commend you for the stance you took in the recent election outcome in Kenya. You are an African patriot and you are an African democrat and a leader.

“In 2022, the National Assembly passed the Electoral Act(amendment) which Mr President signed and we introduced so many innovations.

“We gave INEC so much powers and for it to introduce technology in the elections so that we reduce subjectivity, possibility of rigging and some unwholesome attitude of some politicians or their agents.

“And we believe that the 2023 elections will have the best and highest quality of election processes than the previous ones. Our hope is that the outcome will be a reflection of the will of Nigerians.”

Earlier, Odinga told the Senate President that Nigeria and Kenya maintained a long standing relationship.

He expressed delight in knowing more about the uniqueness of the Nigerian National Assembly in relation to the Kenyan parliament.

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