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Akinyemi urges National Assembly not to override President’s veto on electoral bill

By Muyiwa Adeyemi (Politics Editor)
03 January 2022   |   4:03 am
Former Minister of External Affairs, Prof, Bolaji Akinyemi, has called on the National Assembly not to override President Muhammadu Buhari’s veto on the amended Electoral Bill.

Bolaji Akinyemi

Former Minister of External Affairs, Prof, Bolaji Akinyemi, has called on the National Assembly not to override President Muhammadu Buhari’s veto on the amended Electoral Bill.

Akinyemi, a professor of Political Science and former Director General, Nigerian Institute of International Affairs (NIIA), who turns 80 tomorrow told The Guardian that the President acted in good faith, and urged Nigerians to support his view on the direct primary option for political parties to elect their candidates.

Buhari had in a letter dated December 13, 2021 informed National Assembly members of his decision to withhold his signature on the bill, explaining that direct primaries are not only expensive but will also put a financial burden on the country’s resources.

Akinyemi said it would be disastrous for Nigeria’s electoral system if Buhari signs the bill as presented to him by the National Assembly.

He said: “My view on the electoral bill vetoed by the President is different from that of most Nigerians including press men.

With the situation of electoral position in the country, as it is now, we know the governors are in charge. That is Ali Baba and the 36 thieves. The electoral bill, which the President has just vetoed, you don’t know how many millionaires are out there, how many rich men who have made money from drugs, who have made money from money laundering who will now sponsor primaries.”

“If the President signs it as presented to him, you are going to move from Ali Baba and the 36 thieves to Ali Baba and a million thieves that you won’t even know. At least, we know the governors but we don’t know the million thieves that are out there who will then capture your electoral system. So, I support the President’s veto. And I pray the National Assembly will not override that veto or else it will be worse for us.”