- There is excitement in the air as President Muhammadu Buhari signed the Electoral Bill 2022 into law on Friday, February 25
- Experts say the bill contains many progressive provisions that will facilitate the conduct of free, fair and credible elections in Nigeria.
- In a joint statement released after the president's action, civil society organisations commended Buhari and the National Assembly for the move
A total of twenty-five (25) Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) have commended the president for signing the bill.
In a statement sent to Legit.ng in reaction to the president's action, the CSOs said:
“The new Electoral Act, 2022 which incorporates innovative provisions that will enhance the credibility of Nigeria's electoral process, signifies a new era in the history of elections in Nigeria.
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“More importantly, the new Electoral Act symbolises the commitment of Nigerians to remain consistent in the demand for credible, free, inclusive, transparent and fair elections.
“We, as civil society, commend the president for fulfilling his promise of assenting to the Electoral Bill.
“We also commend the National Assembly for their responsiveness in ensuring the Bill substantially reflects the will of the Nigerian people and for transmitting same to the president upon citizens' demands as laid back in January 2022.
“We commend and congratulate Nigerians for their active participation and vigilance in engaging the electoral reform process since its inception.
“CSOs and the media deserve special commendation for their steadfastness, resilience and sustaining the pressure for successful completion of the electoral reform process.
“We also acknowledge the contributions of the development partners as well as other stakeholders that have consistently provided support towards the electoral reform process.”
The CSOs called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to issue a notice of election not later than 360 days to the next general election.
The CSOs include ActionAid Nigeria, Yiaga Africa, Partners for Electoral Reform, International Press Centre, Institute for Media and Society, Nigerian Women Trust Fund, The Albino Foundation, Centre for Citizens with Disability, Centre for Journalism Innovation and Development, CLEEN Foundation, Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre, Enough is Enough, among others.
House of Reps member reacts
On his part, the chairman, House of Representatives committee on constituency outreach, Hon Bello Kaoje, said the action by the president is commendable.
He told Legit.ng on the sidelines of an event in Abuja:
“The president has shown that he means well for this country. I urge all political actors to play by the rules and ensure that the law is well implemented.”
How Buhari signed the Electoral Bill, 2022 at Aso Rock
Legit.ng had earlier reported that the Nigerian leader signed the re-worked bill at the Council Chamber of the Presidential Villa a month after the National Assembly sent the bill to him.
Among those present at the signing ceremony were the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, and the Senate President, Ahmed Lawan.
Others were Chief of Staff Prof. Ibrahim Gambari, SGF Boss Mustapha, chairman House committee on INEC, Hon. Aisha Dukku, and chairman Senate committee on INEC, Senator Kabiru Gaya.