- 13 months to the 2023 general elections, Nigerians still await an electoral law that will make all votes count
- As Nigerians wait on the National Assembly, a Citizens Town Hall on the Electoral Bill 2021 will be held on Sunday, January 16
- The meeting will also be streamed live on social media and Nigerians are expected to join the conversation with the hashtag #FixElectionsNG
FCT, Abuja - A foremost civil society organisation, Yiaga Africa, has scheduled a town hall meeting in Abuja for stakeholders to discuss the electoral bill.
The event, which is scheduled to hold physically and virtually on Sunday, January 16, will serve as a platform for Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) officials, political party representatives, civil society organisations, and other stakeholders to deliberate on the bill.
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The organisers say participants will discuss key provisions of the Electoral Bill 2021 and their implications for election management, election security, electoral integrity, and voter participation as well as legislative and executive action required to conclude the amendment process.
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The town hall meeting will hold by 7 pm at Transcorp Hilton in the Nigerian capital and will be aired live on local television stations.
Contributors include Governor Abdullahi Sule of Nasarawa, former INEC national chairman; Professor Attahiru Jega, the current spokesman of the Nigerian Senate; Basiru Ajibola, his counterpart in the House of Representatives; Benjamin Kalu, director of programmes Yiaga Africa, Cynthia Mbamalu, and Barrister Olumide Akpata, the president of the Nigeria Bar Association.
Others are the president of the Nigeria Labour Congress; Comrade Ayuba Wabba, Jake Ekpelle of the Albino Foundation, former presidential candidate; Remi Sonaiya, Convener of the Nigeria Civil Society Situation Room, Ene Obi and national chairman of the Inter-Party Advisory Council, Yabagi Yusuf Sani, among others.
Seun Okinbaloye of Channels Television will moderate the event which will also be discussed on social media with the hashtag #FixElectionsNG.
CSOs discover errors in electoral bill, alert National Assembly
Recall that a coalition of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) including Yiaga Africa, on Thursday, December 30, 2021, revealed that they have discovered cross-referencing errors in five sections and grammatical errors in two sections.
Also discovered by the CSOs were duplicate provisions in three sections and conflicting provisions in one section of the bill.
They made this known at a press briefing attended in Abuja and, therefore, called on the National Assembly to carry out a comprehensive review of the bill to ensure all editorial, drafting, and cross-referencing gaps were addressed before it is sent back to the president.
Electoral Bill: Override or remove contentious clause - CSOs tell National Assembly
The CSOs had earlier expressed their disappointment at the failure of President Muhammadu Buhari to sign the Electoral Amendment Bill 2021.
In a statement sent to Legit.ng on Tuesday, December 21, 2021, they lamented that the withholding of assent by the president to a bill undermines public confidence and trust in Nigeria's electoral system.
The groups, however, advised the National Assembly to either override the president to sign the bill or remove the contentious clause and return it back to the president.