Buhari’s refusal to sign amended Electoral Act, ambush ahead of presidential primaries – Reps - POP News


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Sunday, May 22, 2022

Buhari’s refusal to sign amended Electoral Act, ambush ahead of presidential primaries – Reps

Buhari’s refusal to sign amended Electoral Act, ambush ahead of Presidential primaries – Reps

The leadership of the House of Representatives has called on political parties to ignore the delay by the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (rtd.), to assent to the amendment made by the National Assembly to the Electoral Act 2022, which gives recognition to statutory delegates.

The lawmakers, who described the possible withdrawal of assent to the amendment bill by the President as an “ambush” ahead of the presidential primaries, asked parties to go ahead and approve statutory delegates based on their respective constitutions.

The Senate and the House had, in a record time, passed an amendment to the Act to recognise statutory delegates at primaries, congresses and conventions of political parties.

The lawmakers particularly amended Section 84(8) of the Act to provide for automatic or statutory delegates, ahead of the forthcoming party primaries, from where candidates would emerge for the 2023 general elections.

It was reported that the National Assembly, on May 13, transmitted the bill to the President for assent.

However, Buhari had yet to sign the amendment bill into law as of 7pm on Saturday, over one week after the National Assembly passed and transmitted the legislation to the Presidency.

The Majority Leader of the House, Alhassan Ado-Doguwa, alleged that some persons within the ruling All Progressives Congress and the government were misleading Buhari on the amendment.

Ado-Doguwa said, “Some people are trying to mislead the innocent old man in the name of constitutional democracy to which they have no knowledge at all.

“Declining assent to the amended clause of the Electoral Act on statutory delegates would amount to a calculated design to ambush the presidential primaries come 30th May/1st June 2022, which I believe Nigerians will not accept.”

Also speaking, the Deputy Minority Leader, Toby Okechukwu, “Trying to short-change and ambush is not necessary. The parties had already made provisions for statutory and ad-hoc until there was a notice of that omission. So, it is actually trying to fulfil what the parties had already arranged for.”

The President on Saturday evening returned to Abuja after concluding a two-day condolence visit to Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates.

Buhari, who departed Abu Dhabi at about 1:30pm on Saturday, landed at the Presidential Wing of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, around 4pm, alongside members of his delegation.

In Abu Dhabi, he condoled with the new President of the UAE, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, over the passing of the former leader, Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, debunked online reports that the Electoral Act had been signed by the Presient.

In a similar vein, Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters, House of Representatives, Umar El-Yakub, said “He (Buhari) couldn’t have signed it (Electoral Amendment Bill) yesterday because he was out of the country and he couldn’t have signed already because he’s just entering the country.”

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