Mr Lawan says the National Assembly worked very hard to provide the necessary support to INEC and enacted the necessary legislation to guide the electoral environment for the polls.
President of the Senate Ahmad Lawan he has expressed optimism that the 2023 general election would be the best in Nigeria.
Lawan expressed his optimism on Tuesday in Abuja when he received a delegation of election observers from the European Union and former Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga, who paid separate courtesy calls.
Receiving the EU delegation headed by Thomas Boserup, Deputy Chief Observer, the President of the Senate said: “This year’s general elections will probably be the best. This is because we worked very hard in the National Assembly to produce a very good document to guide the electoral environment in Nigeria.
“The amendment to the Electoral Law was promulgated by the president last year and the INEC has had ample opportunity and a lot of freedom to introduce technology in the elections.
“I believe that the introduction of the BVAS (Bimodal Voter Accreditation System) will go a long way in ensuring that voter fraud and manipulations are reduced to a minimum.
“We believe that this has been one of the serious problems that has plagued our elections in the past.
“What motivates us the most is what we have been able to give to INEC. I believe that the INEC is a princely institution. We have always given priority to INEC. We believe that we should always give INEC what our country can afford.
“Where we can give everything, we must do it. If we have to meet INEC halfway, we must have a strong reason to do so. This is because we do not want any excuse from INEC.
“We want INEC to perform very well. We want the 2023 elections to be very credible and very transparent and with the introduction of the BVAS, we believe we can achieve that feat.
“His (EU) statement in 2019 was very helpful. We believe that the stability of Nigeria is the stability of Africa and indeed the stability of the world. And what he is doing is not just to stabilize our political or electoral process but to make sure that other countries copy us.”
Also, hosting the former Kenyan prime minister and his delegation, Lawan echoed similar sentiments about the 2023 election.
He praised Mr. Odinga for his role in ensuring that Kenya’s democracy is peaceful and stable.
He said: “Electoral periods are normally periods that are described as uncertain, especially in developing countries and Africa in particular.
“Many things are suspended. Everyone will tell you after the election is over. Why? Because people fear that the elections will bring violence and a lot of uncertainty.
“I think we need to keep working to ensure that our elections are peaceful, credible, that the test of integrity that we need to push our elections forward gives us every hope and gives our people every hope that their votes count.
“But we have to work hard to make sure that people don’t see election periods as periods of violence.
“I want to commend and congratulate you for working to ensure that Kenya’s democracy is peaceful and stable.
“I must congratulate you on the stance you took on the recent election result in Kenya. You are an African patriot, an African democrat and a leader.
“In 2022, the National Assembly passed the Electoral (Amendment) Law which was signed by Mr. President and we introduced so many innovations.
“We gave INEC so many powers and to introduce technology in the elections so that we reduce subjectivity, the possibility of rigging and some unhealthy attitude of some politicians or their agents.
“And we believe that the 2023 elections will have the best and highest quality of electoral processes than the previous ones.
Our hope is that the outcome will be a reflection of the will of Nigerians.”
Earlier, Odinga said that Nigeria and Kenya have had a long-standing relationship.
He expressed his satisfaction with his increased insight into the uniqueness of the Nigerian National Assembly in relation to the Kenyan parliament.
Mr. Odinga was in Nigeria at the behest of the Management of the Leadership newspapers for its Annual Conference and Awards which was held in Abuja on Tuesday.