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Protest at NASS as group demands open voting for 9th Assembly leaders

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Ibrahim Ramalan
Ibrahim Ramalan is a graduate of Mass Communications from the Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) Zaria. With nearly a decade-long, active journalism practice, Mr Ramalan has been able to rise from a cub reporter to the exalted position of an editor; first as Arts Editor with the Blueprint Newspapers before resigning in 2019; second and presently as an Associate Editor of the Daily Nigerian online newspaper. He can be reached via [email protected], or www.facebook.com/ibrahim.ramalana, or @McRamalan on Twitter.
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A group of protesters under the auspices of Advocates for Good Governance, AGG, have blocked the main entrance of the National Assembly in Abuja, demanding the use of open voting in the election of leaders of the incoming 9th Assembly.

The protesters, who were in their hundreds, carried placards with inscriptions such as “No To Secret Voting in NASS,” “Enough of Secrecy in NASS election,” among others.

Speaking to newsmen, the leader of the group, Duro Meseko, said they were at the National Assembly to register their displeasure over what he called “planned use of secret voting in electing leaders of 9th Assembly.”

Mr Meseko said that all members-elect of the 9th assembly must be vigilant and defend the interest of their respective constituents, by ensuring that the election of the new leadership is done in a creditable and transparent manner.

He said that demand for open ballot or voice vote system, for the conduct of the election of the new leadership of the 9th National Assembly, would boost democracy.

“Only this approach will give the new leadership the confidence and trust it deserves from Nigerians,” he said.

According to Mr Meseko, records showed that successive elections for new leaders of the National assembly had been by open ballot system.

He said that if open ballot system was not adopted for the conduct of the leadership elections, Nigerians might be forced to unanimously rise against the leaders who might emerge through other conducts.

Mr Meseko, therefore, urged patriotic Nigerians to lend their voices to ensure that voting was done in the open and every vote counted and counts.

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