From Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
The Presidency has said that President Muhammadu Buhari would soon let the National Assembly know whether or not he would assent to the Electoral Act Amendment Bill 2021.
According to the Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to the president, Garba Shehu, Buhari has been fully briefed on the bill, especially on the contentious areas, adding that his position would be communicated to the National Assembly soon.
Sunday Sun had asked Shehu if President Buhari will sign the Electoral Amendment Bill as today (Sunday) is the last day for him to give his assent or heed to the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami’s warning that direct primaries would throw Nigeria to chaos and the president should not sign the bill.
The presidential media aide said: “Mr. President is fully briefed on the bill, especially on the contentious issues therein and would shortly make his decision known to the National Assembly as to whether to sign the bill or withhold his assent.”
The presidency’s response is coming a day after the Nigeria Civil Society Situation Room, a coalition of over 70 organizations working in support of credible and transparent elections in the country, had urged President Buhari to assent to the Electoral Act Amendment Bill 2021.
The coalition had expressed concern that President Buhari is yet to assent to the bill since it was passed and transmitted to him by the National Assembly.
The coalition had noted that “it will be a great disservice to the 9th National Assembly if he doesn’t sign this bill.”
The National Assembly had in November passed the much anticipated Electoral Act Amendment Bill 2021 after both the Senate and the House of Representatives deliberated extensively on the report of the Conference Committee on the bill.
The Senate also passed the harmonized version of the Electoral Act (Amendment) Bill, 2021.