CIVIL Society Organisations, CSOs, Monday hailed the National Assembly over re-transmission of the Electoral Act Amendment Bill to President Muhammadu Buhari.
Speaking with Vanguard, the Executive Director, Yiaga Africa, Samson Itodo, on behalf of the CSOs described the action of NASS as welcome development, and said members of NASS deserve commendation.
He said: “The civil society community welcomes to the news of the transmission of the Electoral Bill 2022 to the President for assent.
“The National Assembly deserves commendation for fast tracking the process of reworking the bill in line with popular demand and timelines set by citizens.
“We urge the President to show statesmanship by assenting to the bill within the next 7 days to enable INEC issue notice of election for the 2023 elections.”
However, he urged the President to act fast as it would demonstrate his sincerity to reform the nation’s electoral process.
“We urge the President to act fast. This is the moment for the President to demonstrate his commitment to electoral reform and credible elections. I hope he doesn’t waste this opportunity.
“The President should rise above partisan interest to defend the public interest by signing the electoral bill without further delay.
“An expedited assent will enhance the preparations for the 2023 elections”, he said.
However, he (Itodo) called on the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, to urge the President to see reasons why he should expedite action in assenting to the bill.
“The ruling party should urge the President to assent to the bill in any case the bill was passed by a National Assembly dominated by APC lawmakers.
“I expect the ruling party to call on the President to assent to the bill expeditiously as part of the legacies and achievements of this administration”, h e said.
He further stated that the assent of Mr President would restore confidence in Nigerians and the international community.
“A shift in mindset begins with expeditious assent to the electoral bill because the bill has potentials to limit human interference with elections. the provisions if strictly implemented will reduce incidence of electoral malpractices”, he said.
The National Assembly Monday transmitted the Electoral Act Amendment Bill 2022 to President Muhammadu Buhari for signing it into law ahead of 2023 general elections.
The transmission of the bill was disclosed by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters (senate), Senator Senator Babajide Omoworare in a statement.
According to the statement, “The Clerk to the National Assembly Mr. Olatunde Amos Ojo has transmitted the authenticated copies of the Electoral Bill 2022 to the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria Muhammadu Buhari GCFR on 31st January 2022.
“This was done in accordance with the provisions of Section 58 (3) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) and the Acts Authentication Act Cap. A2 LFN 2004.
“Mr. President had withheld assent to the Electoral Bill 2021 transmitted to him on 19th November 2021. The Electoral Bill was thereafter reworked by the National Assembly and both the Senate and the House of Representatives passed same on 25th January 2022.”