Rose Oko: Why most senators failed at the polls

OrderPaperToday – Senator Rose Oko has explained the reasons why many of her colleagues did not win reelection.

59 serving senators were defeated in the National Assembly polls conducted on the 23rd of February, 2019.

In a press briefing on Tuesday, Oko said: “I will not say exactly that (failure at the polls) it is a rejection. I will say partly is beyond democracy and Nigerians up till now have still not quite understood what the legislature is and that they are expected to make laws. Their expectations from the legislature is far beyond and above the mandate they are expected to have.

“Secondly there is this syndrome of your turn of senatorial district. Not enough attention has been given to the experience that you need to go into the legislature. It is a mix of several factors.

“Also we talk about the electoral system that is fraught with a lot of challenges among which is electoral fraud.”

She expressed sadness over the development, noting that in other climes in the world, “you have senators that would have been there almost literally forever and they become an encyclopedia of the legislative arm. I am happy that I made it back but sad that too many of our colleagues did not make it back.”

Asked about expectations of the 9th assembly, the Cross River South senatorial Senator stated that the new assembly will work on passing more bills and produce more quality bills to improve the economy and business environment.

“Because more than ever before we need to focus on diversifying the Nigerian economy. We need to focus on making sure there is food on the table of every Nigerian. Unfortunately at this period, we are still talking about food on the table. It is that serious and that important”, Oko said.

On the conduct of the 2019 elections, she opined that there was something missing about the process which resulted into the greatest number of inconclusive elections ever held in this country.

She said: “We had a mix of vote buying, vandalism and hooliganism, ballot snatching. We need to be able to sanitize if we are going to make anything out of this country. Elections have been held, we must make progress.

“We need to return ourselves back to normal. Again, we are beginning to see some silence and not making statements, we need to pick up very quickly and move on to governance.”

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