Amended Electoral Bill: 26 CSOs declare Tuesday as National Day of Protest
No fewer than 26 Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) have declared Tuesday, February 22, 2022, as National Day of Protest to demand immediate assent to the 2021 Amended Electoral Bill transmitted to President Muhammadu Buhari on January 31, 2022.
CSOs, which made this pronouncement, yesterday, in Abuja, included Nigeria Civil Society Situation Room; Yiaga Africa; Partners for Electoral Reform (PER); International Press Centre; Institute for Media and Society; Nigerian Women Trust Fund; The Albino Foundation; Centre for Citizens with Disability; Premium Times Centre for Investigative Journalism (PTCIJ); Labour Civil Society Coalition (LASCO); Transition Monitoring Group; CLEEN Foundation; Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC).
Others were: Women Advocates Research and Documentation Centre (WARDC); Nigeria Network of Non-Governmental Organisations (NNNGO); Inclusive Friends Association (IFA); Enough is Enough; the Electoral Hub; Centre for Liberty; Take Back Nigeria Movement; International Peace and Civic Responsibility Centre (IPCRC); 100 Women Lobby Group; Women in Politics Forum; Raising New Voices; Millennials Active Citizenship; Advocacy Africa and Ready To Lead Africa, among others.
The rights organisations said: “We are aware that on January 31, 2022, the National Assembly transmitted the Amended Electoral Bill 2022 to the President for assent, after expeditiously reworking the bill to meet his expectations.
“Recall that the bill allows electronic transmission of results, strengthens INEC’s financial independence and empowers the commission to reject falsified election results.
“Further aware, the bill, when signed, requires INEC to issue Notice of Election, not later than 360 days before the day appointed for an election. Therefore, the president has to give assent to the bill on or before February 22, 2022, if the dates announced for the 2023 elections are to be maintained.
“Concerned that the delay in granting presidential assent to the Electoral Bill 2022 will create legal uncertainties that threaten the integrity of the off-cycle elections in Ekiti, Osun, and the 2023 general elections, taking place 366 days away.
“The civil society community resolves to declare Tuesday, February 22, 2022, as the National Day of Protest to demand the President’s immediate assent to the bill…”
“Civil society networks will organise peaceful public direct-action activities to further the demand to assent the bill.
“We urge citizens across the nation to call on President Muhammadu Buhari to act on this, matter of urgent national importance.”