Direct Primaries: After 3 Rejections, Confusion Trails Buhari’s Return of Electoral Act Amendment Bill to NASS

Direct Primaries: After 3 Rejections, Confusion Trails Buhari’s Return of Electoral Act Amendment Bill to NASS

  • President Muhammadu Buhari is yet to sign the Electoral Act Amendment Bill and this has generated reactions in the polity
  • According to report, the president is yet to sign the bill into law due to the high-cost implication of conducting direct primaries
  • Meanwhile, the Senate has reacted to the letter written recently by the president addressing direct primaries to the leaders of the NASS

Abuja- On Thursday, December 9, the confusion in the polity was noticeable following President Muhammadu Buhari's reported refusal to assent to the Electoral Act Amendment Bill.

President Buhari reportedly wrote leaders of the two chambers of the National Assembly after refusing to sign the bill into law because of the huge cost of conducting direct primaries among other reasons.

Spokesmen of the Senate and House of Representatives denied knowledge of President Buhari’s rejection letter, yesterday, as a host of federal legislators contacted on the matter kept mum, Vanguard reports.

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Direct primaries: Controversy trails Buhari’s return of Electoral Act Amendment Bill to NASS
The president is considering the cost implication of direct primaries, hence his refusal to sign the Electoral Bill. Photo credit: Muhammadu Buhari
Source: Facebook

President Buhari has up till December 19 to sign the bill into law. If he refuses to assent, the lawmakers with two-thirds majority can veto the president and pass the bill into law.

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APC's position

Meanwhile, the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, said it would issue a detailed reaction after reading the report but said it stands with the president on the issue just as the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, said it would not react to speculations.

Senate not aware - Spokesperson

When contacted, Senate spokesperson, Senator Ajibola Basiru, said:

“I am not aware of such. The Senate President has not discussed anything with me on the matter.”

We won’t react to speculations - PDP

On its part, the PDP said it won’t react to President Buhari’s reported refusal to sign the Electoral Act Amendment Bill due to the cost of funding direct primaries until the Presidency issues a formal statement on the issue.

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It will cause confusion - Malami writes Buhari over mandatory direct primaries

Some presidential aides said they had not been briefed of the development last night.

PDP National Publicity Secretary, Mr. Kola Ologbondiyan, told reporters that:

“PDP will not be drawn to issues that are in the realm of speculation. The President has not said he would not sign the Electoral Act Amendment Bill. As a result, the PDP will not say a word on this matter.”

The amendment bill, which provides for the electronic transmission of election results as well as direct primaries for the selection of candidates by political parties was passed by the National Assembly a few weeks ago and is now waiting presidential assent.

PDP chieftain lauds Buhari's rejection of Direct Primaries in Electoral Act Amendment, gives reasons

Meanwhile, had earlier reported that the former National Publicity Secretary of ADP, now a Chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Lagos, Prince Adelaja Adeoye has lauded President Buhari for rejecting Direct Primaries as proposed by the National Assembly.

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Senior Lawyer Falana reveals why Buhari does not want sign Electoral Act Amendment Bill

He argued that, Direct Primaries will be a breeding ground for violence and won't be a true reflection of selection process by political parties.

Ahead of 2023, INEC reveals how politicians undermine commission's efforts

In another report, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has accused politicians across Nigeria of undermining the commission's effort to deliver seamless elections.

The resident electoral commissioner in Akwa Ibom state, Mike Igini, said while the commission focuses on best ways to eliminate some of the hitches and challenges encountered in elections, politicians are hellbent on frustrating efforts aimed at achieving a seamless process.

Igini made the disclosure at stakeholders roundtable on electoral technology hosted by YIAGA in partnership with the European Union Support to Democratic Governance in Nigeria (EU SDGN).


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