CSO tells Buhari sign Electoral Bill
A civil rights organisation under the aegis of Policy and Legal Advocacy Centre on Wednesday called on the President, Muhammadu Buhari , to sign and give assent to the Electoral Bill, 2021 sent to him by the National Assembly since November 29, 2021.
The organisation said it would still be within the Buhari’s prerogative to bring a fresh amendment after assenting to the Bill, to address any areas of concern, as he did with the Petroleum Industry Act that he assented to, only a few months ago.
According to PLAC, assenting to the Electoral Bill would be the single most important legacy of Buhari’s administration.
The Executive Director of PLAC, Clement Nwankwo, in a statement issued in Abuja, titled ‘PLAC calls on President Buhari to assent to the Electoral Bill’, reminded him that he had expressed his interest in bequeathing a reformed electoral system to the country as part of his legacy, especially in the light of the fact that he benefitted from improvements made to the electoral system arising from the recommendations of the Chief Justice Muhammadu Lawal Uwais Electoral Reforms Committee.
While stating that the Bill was a product of nearly three years of work, Nwankwo said it went through the entire gamut of legislative processes.
He said there was a call for submission of memoranda, technical review, retreats and deliberations, while it also had input from the Independent National Electoral Commission, civil society organisations and participation by the legal draft staff of the Federal Ministry of Justice.
PLAC said that a few interests, including individual Governors or in groups, have raised a specific concern regarding the mode of selection of candidates for elections, as passed by the committees – which is direct primaries, only.
PLAC said, “While there may be interests with different views about the Electoral Bill, it was important to point out that these interests had the opportunity to make their input during the legislative process, especially at the call for memoranda and the public hearing.
“The provisions of the new Electoral Bill seek to improve the electoral system, including the process of voting, collation and announcement of results, and generally bring about significant changes that give confidence to citizens at all levels, including the grassroots, that their votes will count and their participation in governance improved.
“It will still be within the President’s prerogative to bring a fresh amendment after assenting to the Bill, to address any areas of concern, as he did with the Petroleum Industry Act that he assented to, only a few months ago.”