Lawmakers Deliberate Next Steps Over Buhari’s Refusal To Sign Electoral Bill

Federal lawmakers on Tuesday mulled over President Muhammadu Buhari’s decision not to sign the electoral amendment bill into law.

The National Assembly had transmitted the bill to the President in November but, in a letter dated December 13 and forwarded to the National Assembly, he informed of his decision to withhold his signature.

A Senator of the Peoples Democratic Party, George Sekibo, in an interview with Channels Television said some Senators were considering a veto of the bill.

By law, the National Assembly can bypass presidential assent of a bill into law through a two-third majority vote.

According to Sekibo, a total of 73 signatures have been compiled for the veto. The Senate, which went into a closed-door session over the considerations adjourned Tuesday’s session till tomorrow where a decision over the matter is expected to be made.

Direct primaries

In his letter sent to the National Assembly, President Buhari cited several issues with the bill’s clause on direct primaries.

The President, according to the letter, explained that direct primaries are expensive. This, he said, will put a financial burden on the country’s resources.

He further noted that conducting direct primary elections will be tasking, explaining that since such mode of election means a large turnout of voters, the move would stretch the security agencies.

The Nigerian leader equally fears that with direct primaries, citizens’ rights will be violated while smaller political parties may face marginalisation.

According to him, the move will also lead to more litigations by party members.



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