- President Muhammadu Buhari is yet to give assent to the Electoral Act (2010) amendment bill and this might affect the activities of the 2023 general elections
- The commission may have to postpone the conduct of the polls, should the president sign the bill after the proposed date
- Meanwhile, the elections are dependent on some factors in the polity as the political parties in the country are yet to find a balance
Indications have emerged that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), may have to postpone the scheduled conduct of the 2023 general elections if President Muhammadu Buhari acts on the electoral bill sent to him after February 22, 2022.
Leadership reports that immediately after the 2019 general elections, INEC scheduled the 2023 presidential and National Assembly elections for February 18, 2023.
But barely a year to the presidential election, INEC is yet to issue guidelines for the conduct of the election on the ground that it is waiting for a new electoral act.
Civil Society Organisations position
The executive director, Yiaga Africa, Samson Itodo, said:
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“In line with the Electoral Bill 2022, the deadline for INEC to issue the notice of election for the 2023 general election will be 22nd February 2022 and not February 18, 2022 – the reasons being that the total number of days from February 22nd, 2022, to February 17th, 2023, is 360 days.”
On the contentious 2022 electoral act amendment bill sent to Buhari, he has up to March 2, 2022 to indicate where he stands on the bill.
“If the president gives assent to the bill on or before February 22nd, 2022, INEC will be legally bound to issue Notice of Election, and the dates for the 2023 elections will be maintained."
Why we want speedy passage of Amended Electoral Bill, INEC
Legit.ng had previously reported that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), has urged both chambers of the National Assembly to harmonize and expedite action in the passage of the amended electoral bill.
According to the electoral body, the speedy passage of the bill is necessary, in order to provide it with a framework to organize its activities ahead of the 2023 general election, Leadership reports.
The national commissioner, Information and Voter Education (IVEC), Barr. Festus Okoye, made the call in Asaba, Delta state, during a two-day capacity building workshop for Heads of Voter Education and Publicity (VEP) and Public Affairs Officers of INEC from the 17 southern states of Nigeria.
Electoral Act Amendment Bill: Deliberative process takes time - Osinbajo
Meanwhile, the vice president, Yemi Osinbajo, on Tuesday, February 8, said that the present administration is working to ensure the enactment of the Electoral Act Amendment Bill.
It was reported that Osinbajo while speaking at the 53rd Conference of the National Association of Law Teachers, held at Bayero University, Kano said the present administration is working towards an improved electoral system.
At the event themed, Law, Democracy and the Electoral Process, the vice president said the bill has been the subject of insightful and robust engagement in the polity.