Eid-el Kabir: The Companion urges NASS to pass INEC budget without delay

Alhaji Sonaike
The Companion, an association of Muslim men in business and the professions has urged members of the National Assembly to pass the budget of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) without delay so as to ensure a smooth electoral process next year. 
The admonition was contained in the Eid-el-Kabir message issued and signed by the National Amir (President) of the association, Alhaji Thabit Wale Sonaike, which also asked Nigerians to take advantage of the ongoing registration exercise to register and vote in the coming general elections in the country.
The message in full said “The Companion joins billions of Muslims all over the world to celebrate the joy full occasion of the Eid-el-Adha to commemorate the sacrifice by Prophet Ibrahim in complete obedience to Allah.  We rejoice with all Muslims in Nigeria and worldwide and thank Allah for preserving us to witness another Eid. We pray Him to accept our sacrifice as an act of Ibadah and reward us with the good things of this world and the hereafter. Aamin.
“We call on all Muslims to celebrate in moderation, reflect on the lessons of the sacrifice and imbibe the true spirit of selfless service to Allah and humanity. We remember fellow Muslims and others in one form of bondage or another and pray Allah to rescue them and ease their affairs. We pray for peace, stability and progress in Nigeria and enjoin all Muslims to join us in prayer for our leaders. May Allah guide them to the right path in their conduct over our affairs. Aamin.
As we gradually approach the general elections, we call on Nigerians who are yet to register to vote to take advantage of the extension of the voters registration exercise to register. INEC should also make the exercise a seamless process devoid of hardship for the citizens. Disturbing cases of unclaimed PVC is also a source of concern. We call on INEC, political parties and other stake holders to collaborate and fashion out an acceptable device to encourage and make the collection of PVC hitch free. The process should be de-centralise as much as possible. No eligible voter should be disenfranchised on account of flawed process of PVC distribution and collection.
“We also use the opportunity to call on the legislators to accelerate the legislative process involved in passing the budget of INEC. Everything lawful must be done to avoid throwing the country into an avoidable constitutional crisis and political lock-jam that may arise from the politicking currently going on in the national assembly on one hand and between the legislatures and the executives on the other hand on the quick passage of the INEC budget. We urge them not to treat the bill in the way the annual budget is treated.
“In the same vein, we call on the executive and the legislative arms of government not to abandon governance for politics and politicking because of the coming general elections. We hasten to remind our political leaders that they owe Nigeria an obligation to govern the country till the end of their tenure.   We expect for instance that the 2019 appropriation bill should be submitted to the national assembly before the end of September, 2018 and for the National Assembly to do the needful and conclude the legislative process before the of December 2018. Security of live and property should be paramount. Security agencies should be proactive and avoid actions that could endanger democracy.
“Once again we rejoice with All Muslims and pray Allah to preserve us for many more years to witness and celebrate many more Eids. Aamin.”

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