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You mustn’t fail on electoral bill, Saraki challenges National Assembly

By Clarkson Voke Eberu
23 December 2021   |   3:07 am
Following President Muhammadu Buhari’s rejection of the Electoral Act (Amendment) Bill 2021, former Senate President Bukola Saraki has urged the National Assembly to act fast in Nigerians’

National Assembly. Photo/facebook/TopeBrown/NigerianSenate

Following President Muhammadu Buhari’s rejection of the Electoral Act (Amendment) Bill 2021, former Senate President Bukola Saraki has urged the National Assembly to act fast in Nigerians’ interest by ensuring that the whole piece of legislation is not thrown out on account of one or two clauses.

In a statement, yesterday, by his media aide, Yusuph Olaniyonu, the Kwara State ex-governor noted: “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.”

He went on: “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.”

Saraki further said: “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.

“Our legislators in both chambers of the National Assembly and Mr. President must ensure that it becomes a law without delay.”