Ensure Electoral Bill Becomes Law, Saraki Urges NASS

Saraki

Former Senate President Bukola Sara­ki has urged the National Assembly to take urgent action on the Electoral Act (Amendment) Bill which Pres­ident Muhammadu Buhari failed to assent to, saying the lawmakers cannot choose to sit on the fence on the very important issue.

The president had withheld assent to the bill in a letter which was sent to both chambers of the National Assembly.

In the letter, the president said he would not sign the bill because of the mandatory direct primaries. He further stated eight disadvantages of mandatory direct primaries which included legal, finan­cial and security concerns.

In a statement he per­sonally signed, Saraki said the National Assembly has two options which include overriding the president or removing the contentious di­rect primary clause and then returning the bill to the pres­ident for assent.

According to him, the other good things in the bill shouldn’t be thrown away because of the contentious direct primary clause.

He said, “Now that Mr. President has conveyed his de­cision to decline assent to the Electoral Act [Amendment] Bill, I am sure that I speak on behalf of millions of Nigeri­ans in urging the National As­sembly to act fast. This is be­cause we cannot sit back and allow one contentious clause to throw away all the positives in the proposed Electoral Act [Amendment] Bill.

“At this point, two options are open to the National As­sembly. They either veto the president’s decline of assent or remove the contentious provision on direct primaries and send it back to the pres­ident for his assent. Which­ever option, our legislators choose, can be accomplished in the shortest possible time. We could have a new electoral law in January 2022.

“Anyone that has been fol­lowing the mood of the nation knows that Nigerians desire to have a new electoral law that will lead to having a credi­ble, free, fair, and peaceful pro­cess of electing our leaders.

“They want a system that will ensure that their votes truly count in the election of those who govern them.

“This proposed electoral law is expected to reassure the youths, many of whom steer clear of the political process because they have no confi­dence in the system. They believe the system is usually rigged and compromised. One way to bring this active demography into the politi­cal system is to enact a new law that will give them hope in our nation. This Electoral Act [Amendment] Bill serves that purpose.

This is why, as the rep­resentatives of the Nigerian people, the National Assem­bly must take a decision in the interest of our nation and its long-term democracy. The option of not doing anything after the refusal of the assent by the president is not an op­tion.”

Share This:
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

Recommended For You

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Open