Buhari States Why He Refused Signing Amended Electoral Bill
By Wisdom Peter,
Report reaching Brainnewsradio has it that, the President of Nigeria, Alhaji Muhammadu Buhari on Friday gave his reasons for not signing the the bill passed by the two chambers of the National Assembly.
His aide on National Assembly Matters, Sen Ita Enang made this known to Newsmen.
Buhari, stating his reasons in a letter sent to the federal lawmakers said, signing the bill could cause “uncertainty and confusion” as it is already few months to the 2019 general elections.
President Buhari according to Politics Times, also asked the lawmakers to clearly state that the amended section will be effective after the 2019 general election, also pointing out some sections as well as some
terms used in the amendment bill which he felt needed to be revisited.
In the letter, Buhari said, as reported by Politics Times; “I am declining assent to the Bill principally
because I am concerned that passing a new electoral bill this far into the electoral process for the 2019 general election which commenced under the 2015 Electoral Act, could create some uncertainty about the applicable legislation to govern the process.
“Any real or apparent change to the rules this close to the election may provide an opportunity for disruption and confusion in respect of which law governs the electoral process.
“This leads me to believe that it is in the best interest of the country and our democracy for the
national assembly to specifically state in the Bill, that the Electoral Act will come into effect and be
applicable to elections commencing after the 2019 General Election.”
The sections he pointed out include: “section 5 of the Bill, amending section 18 of the Principal Act should indicate the subsection to which the substitution of the figure “30” for the figure “60” is to be affected”.
“Section 11 of the Bill, amending Section 36 should indicate the subsection in which the proviso is to be introduced.
“Section 24 of the Bill which amends Section 85 (1) should be redrafted in full as the introduction of the
“electing” to the sentence may be interpreted to mean that political parties may give 21 days notice
of the intention to merge, as opposed to the 90 days provided in Section 84 (2) of the Electoral Act which provides the provision for merge of political parties.
Buhari continued, saying that, “The definition of the term “Ward Collection officer” should be revised to reflect a more descriptive definition than the capitalized and undefined term “Registration Area Collation