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Ex-commissioner urges NASS to re-send Electoral Bill to Buhari


[FILES] National Assembly (NASS)

A former Commissioner for Lands and Survey in Benue, Mr John Tondu, has advised the 8th National Assembly to re-send the Amended Electoral Bill to President Muhammadu Buhari before the end of its tenure.

Tondu, in an interview with newsmen on Monday in Abuja, said that the bill should be re-sent to the president for his assent, now that the general elections were over.

“The president returned that bill on the basis that it was too close to the elections.

“So, it is my prayer that God touches their heart and if also they genuinely mean well for this country, they should forward that bill back to the president for his assent now that the elections have come and gone,’’ he said.

He said the house and its members would be writing their names in gold by doing the needful.

“They should not wait for when the 9th national assembly is constituted and they go back to the drawing board and start working on that bill.

Buhari had in December 2018 declined assent to the amended electoral bill saying passing a new bill with elections close by could ‘create some uncertainty about the legislation to govern the process.’

The president in the letter sent to the National Assembly stated that the new bill may pose some legislative encumbrance, which may create room for ‘disruption’ and ‘confusion’ during the 2019 elections, that were then a little over two months away.

Tondu, who was a governorship aspirant in Benue under the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), advised all newly-elected leaders across the country in the just concluded general elections to use their mandate to improve the well being of Nigerians.

He said that they should look at the position they were elected into as God given opportunity and trust they were holding on behalf of Nigerians saying that should be paramount should be service.

On the concerns being expressed by Nigerians on the leadership of the 9th NASS, Tondu said of a truth it would not be reasonable for PDP to be vying for the position of the Senate President and that of the Speaker.

Tondu also said that it would also not be right for the ruling party to begin to think that it could install a leadership of the National Assembly outside the floor of the National Assembly.

“So my advice objectively should have been that, the national assembly members should be allowed to choose their leaders.

“In advising the opposition parties that are in the minority that they should look in the ruling party and look for somebody who they can trust that can bring value to the national assembly.

Aside the personal quality of those aspiring to be elected, Tondu also stressed the need to consider the goe-political zones of the country in electing the various leadership of the 9th national assembly.

“I think that with what has happened in this outgoing leadership of the National Assembly, the Senate President was from the North-Central, the Speaker is from the North-East.

“Now that the permutations have changed, I have not seen anybody from the North Central that is aspiring to occupy the position of the Senate President. Most of the major contenders in this position are from the North-East.

“With that permutation, I feel strongly that the North-East should be given the opportunity of producing the senate president under the ruling party while that of the Speakership is also given to the North-Central for fair play.

“So, if the leadership of the ruling party is working on installing leadership in the National Assembly they should begin to look at it objectively so that every part of the country will look at it that we are a nation,’’ the former commissioner said.

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