- The governors under the platform of the All Progressives Congress have taken steps to stop the signing of the electoral bill
- The governors in achieving their aim seek to influence the Attorney-General of the Federation Abubakar Malami to stop President Buhari from assenting to the bill
- Meanwhile, the bill is expected to get to the president by next week and in return, he would forward it to Malami for legal guidance
Governors of the All Progressives Congress (APC) are making new moves to ensure the Electoral Act Amendment Bill recently passed by the National Assembly is not signed by President Muhammadu Buhari.
The Punch reports that the APC governors have begun reaching out to the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN), with a view to getting him to convince the president, to withhold assent to the bill as passed by the National Assembly on Tuesday, November 9.
The APC Governors’ Forum is led by the governor of Kebbi state, Atiku Bagudu. Malami is also from Kebbi state and is rumoured to be nursing a governorship ambition in 2023.
An aide to one of the APC governors told the newspaper that like other bills that were forwarded to the president, Buhari was expected to forward the electoral bill to Malami for legal advice.
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The source said:
“The President is expected to receive the bill next week after which he will forward it to Malami for legal advice. What the governors now plan to do is to lobby Malami to ensure that the bill is not assented to. Malami is from Kebbi, just like Bagudu; so, the governors are hopeful that he will listen to Bagudu.”
Bagudu had on Monday, November 8, speaks out against the clause in the electoral bill, which mandates political parties to adopt the direct primary system.
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The Kebbi governor had on Monday held a meeting with eight other governors on the platform of the party in Abuja and afterwards briefed the media on their decision.
The governors in attendance were Dr Kayode Fayemi (Ekiti), David Umahi (Ebonyi), Mai Mala Buni (Yobe), Yahaya Bello (Kogi), Simon Lalong (Plateau), Gboyega Oyetola (Osun), Abdullahi Ganduje (Kano) and Mohammed Badaru (Jigawa).
Speaking to journalists after the meeting, Bagudu stated that political parties should be allowed to pick their system for primaries. He added that holding direct primaries on a large scale was against the spirit of the Executive Order signed by the President to restrict large gatherings during the COVID-19 pandemic.
He argued that the direct primary system would be too cumbersome for the Independent National Electoral Commission to supervise.
The spokesman for the AGF, Umar Gwandu, did not respond to a message regarding his principal’s opinion on the electoral bill.
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Meanwhile, Legit.ng had earlier reported that Vice President Professor Yemi Osinbajo, SAN presided over a caucus meeting of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) on behalf of President Muhammadu Buhari.
The meeting was attended by members of the expanded tripartite consultative committee of the executive, legislature, and APC leadership at the Presidential Villa on Tuesday, November 9.
Legit.ng gathered that the meeting was about the preference of the members of the National Assembly for direct voting because according to them, state governors have excluded some of them through indirect primaries.