The National Assembly caucus of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has asked President Muhammadu Buhari to immediately sign the revised Electoral Act Amendment Bill into law.

The lawmakers said the president no longer has a reason to delay or decline assent to the bill because the National Assembly has given him what he wanted.

They made this call during a meeting with members of the Board of Trustees (BoT) of the party at the National Assembly on Tuesday.

Advertisements

The PDP caucus is one of many groups urging the president to quickly sign the bill into law so that the electoral reforms can be implemented.

PREMIUM TIMES reported that the bill was transmitted to the president for assent on Monday – one week after the Senate and House of Representatives made final changes to the legislation.

They amended the controversial Clause 84 of the bill, which deals with the mode of primary election to be used by political parties to select candidates for elective offices, and also the Clause Mr Buhari complained about.

In the previous version, the lawmakers prescribed that political parties use only the direct mode of primary. But Mr Buhari rejected it, citing insecurity, the cost of conducting direct primaries and infringement on the rights of Nigerians to participate in governance as his reasons.

Advertisements

He, however, promised to sign the bill if changes are made to the Clause, to include other options.

The Senate Minority Leader, Enyinnaya Abaribe, who led the caucus, was the first to make the call.

He stressed that the president has no reason to delay assent to the bill after the lawmakers have “bent backwards” for him.

“The president, in rejecting the earlier one transmitted to him in November last year, said indirect and consensus mode of primary elections were added to the new one as requested by President Buhari.

“Now that we have bent backwards, no excuse or reason should be given again. Provisions of the bill are very critical for expected credibility of the 2023 general elections.”

Advertisements
HAVE YOU READ?:  Trump exits briefing, as man shot near White House

The Minority Leader of the House of Representatives, Ndudi Elumelu, also alleged that some governors on the platform of the All Progressives Congress are lobbying the president not to sign the bill.

This, he said, will be met with great resistance by the PDP and many Nigerians generally because of other very important provisions in the bill like section 52 which deals with electronic transmission of election results.

“The plan of using mandatory direct primaries to scuttle the bill has failed because the National Assembly has widened the scope as requested for by the President.

“No other unresolved issues or observations is left in the bill transmitted to the President on Monday this week. No more excuses, no more delay, it should be signed in the interest of credibility and sanctity of electoral process in the country,” he said.

The Caucus also mocked the APC for setting up a 133-member campaign committee, inclusive of 16 serving governors, for the forthcoming Area Councils Election in FCT – an election he said the APC “will not get.”

He said instead of the APC to focus on holding its National Convention that has been postponed several times, “it is carrying hammer to kill ant by enlisting 16 serving governors, 12 serving ministers and countless numbers of other public office holders at the federal level to militarise Area Council Election in FCT.”

“This, to us in PDP, is laughable because throughout the 16 years we were in power at the centre, there was no time such a busy body campaign council was set up for FCT Area Council election.

“Unfortunately for APC, the 133- member campaign council it set up, cannot deliver FCT for it because there is no way aliens or strangers in any place, will displace landlords.”

Both the National Assembly caucus and the BoT assured party members and Nigerians that the party will work to reclaim the country and restore all that was lost.