Buhari Are To Sign Bill Tomorrow

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President Muhammadu Buhari will at about noon on Friday assent  to the long-awaited Electoral Act Amendment Bill 2021.

Twenty six civil society organisations (CSOs) had on Tuesday held a national day of protest calling on President Buhari to sign the bill into law.

Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, in a statement recent statement had said Buhari having received the amended Bill on January 31, 2022, still had up till March 1 to assent  to the bill as prescribed by the constitution.

However, sources in the presidency, revealed that arrangements had been concluded for the president to sign the bill into law on Friday, putting paid to all anxieties expressed by Nigerians.

“All the anxieties will disappear by Friday afternoon. He will be signing the bill around noon of that day. I believe he has taken his time so that the Act can be as unassailable as much as possible,” said the official who preferred not to be named.

President Buhari had withheld his assent to the bill in November 2021, citing the cost of conducting direct party primaries as provided by the National Assembly in the amended Act and the associated security challenges, and possible manipulation of electoral processes by political players as part of the reasons for his decision.

He, however, gave some conditions to give his assent, prompting the lawmakers to re-work the bill which led to the inclusion of direct, indirect and consensus options for party primaries in the new bill.

Meanwhile, Governor of Imo State, Senator Hope Uzodimma has described as unnecessary the worries expressed by some Nigerians that President Muhammadu Buhari was delaying his assent to the amended Electoral Act as passed by the National Assembly.

Addressing the media in his office, yesterday, the governor said the hullabaloo over the shift on the date from Wednesday (February 23, 2022) to Friday (February 25, 2022) for the signing of the amended Electoral Act was uncalled for and the anxiety unnecessary “as President Buhari has ample time within the constitutional provision to assent the amended document into law.”

READ ALSO: Just In: 26 Civil Society Groups Declare February 22 National Day Of Protest-Electoral Bill

 To give Nigerians the best, the president has to study the Amended Act before signing it into law, and if in the process he discovers things in the Act that are not in the interest of the people of Nigeria he has the constitutional mandate to move it back to the National Assembly for corrections before his assent.

 “The constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria has expressly defined the processes a Bill or an Act must undergo before the President will consider it for assent and to the best of my knowledge as a parliamentarian none of those processes has been violated by Mr. President.

 “The president should be allowed to do his job without being put under unnecessary pressure, particularly the worries and anxiety expressed by some Nigerians, especially through the media.”

Governor Uzodimma also explained that the Friday date should not also be seen to be sacrosanct, because the 30 days window from the time the amended Act was returned to the president still subsists. 

  Uzodimma advised Nigerians who are worried to understand that “there are very many other issues that call for attention of both the President and the National Assembly,  what is before the President is an Amended Electoral Act and at the appropriate time the President will Assent to it.”

 Commenting on the rescheduled All Progressives Congress (APC) Convention, the Governor said there was nothing to worry about. 

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