Political Parties, and some prominent Senior Advocates of Nigeria
(SANs) on Friday kicked as President Muhammadu Buhari finally withheld
his assent to the Electoral Act (Amendment) Bill 2018 passed by the
The President had earlier
on Friday announced his decision to withhold his assent to the crucial
electoral bill which the National Assembly transmitted to him on
The controversial bill has been returned to the National Assembly after the President refused to sign it the fourth time.
The President had earlier rejected it for the third time and returned it to the legislature on August 30.
Buhari’s latest decision in Abuja, his Senior Special Assistant,
National Assembly Matters (Senate), Senator Ita Enang, said the
President gave his reasons in a letter to the National Assembly.
a member of the All Progressives Congress from Akwa Ibom State, merely
said, “President Muhammadu Buhari has taken decision on the Electoral
Act (Amendment) Bill 2018 in accordance with his power under the 1999
Constitution and has communicated that decision to the Senate and the
House of Representatives in accordance with the law.”
We will veto bill, Senate vows
uncertainty may be looming over the conduct of the forthcoming 2019
general elections as the Senate has vowed to veto the Electoral Act
(Amendment) Bill 2018, following President’s decision to assent to the
The Senate on Friday vowed to veto the bill saying
the new electoral draft was very significant to the conduct and outcome
of the 2019 elections.
The Vice-Chairman of the Senate Committee
on Media and Public Affairs, Senator Ben Murray-Bruce, told The Punch
that the upper chamber of the National Assembly would lobby members of
the ruling party, the All Progressives Congress, in the chamber to veto
Murray-Bruce, who had initially withheld the Senate’s
reaction on the subject matter in order to get brief from the Senate
President, Bukola Saraki, later spoke to The Punch after getting in
touch with Saraki.
Murray-Bruce, who said the amendments to the
bill would guarantee free and fair general elections in 2019, said the
Senate would do everything possible to veto the bill.
Senate’s spokesman said, “First of all, we think it is a mistake not to
sign the bill. We think Buhari should have signed it. We want the APC
senators and all Nigerians to understand that, that bill was the right
thing to do at this period of our national life.
“We will do
everything possible to work with the progressive APC senators to get the
right number of votes to override it. We will override it.”
added, “We want credible elections and that was why we hoped the
President would sign the (amended) Electoral Act. Now that he has
refused to sign it, we will talk to the APC members in the Senate to
look at Nigeria and not their party. They should look at Nigeria and not
“There are aspects that INEC can implement on their own without the law.”
asked later if he was reacting in his personal capacity as a senator or
as the Senate’s spokesman, Murray-Bruce said, “It was the Senate
reacting, I told you.”
Reacting, the House of Reps said it would
take action on the assent withdrawal after Dogara had read the letter to
lawmakers in plenary.
The Chairman of the House Committee on
Media and Public Affairs, Mr Abdulrazak Namdas, who spoke to The Punch
on phone, said, “The House can only take a decision after the letter had
been read on the floor of the chamber.”
But the PDP Presidential Campaign Council on Friday urged the National
Assembly to immediately override the President’s refusal to assent the
The Director, Media and Publicity of the council, Kola
Ologbondiyan, in a statement said overriding Buhari would save the
He added that the legislative action had
become imperative as Buhari’s decision was a calculated attempt to
inject crisis into the electoral process.
According to him, Buhari’s refusal to sign the Act could ultimately scuttle the conduct of the 2019 general elections.
said, “President Buhari’s repeated refusal to sign amendments passed to
check rigging in the election, raises issues of his sincerity of
purpose and has the capacity to trigger political unrest and violence,
which can, in turn, truncate our hard-earned democracy.”
According to him, Buhari is afraid of the amendments because they essentially checked the APC’s alleged rigging plans.
also charged all political parties, other critical stakeholders and
Nigerians in general, to rise in the interest of the nation and demand
the entrenching of rules and processes that would guarantee the conduct
of free, fair and credible elections.