Electoral Act: Atiku, Saraki, others laud Buhari, NASS
February 25, 2022
ABUJA- Former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar has welcomed President Muhammadu Buhari’s assent to the Electoral Act Amendment Bill, saying it would make conduct of the 2023 general elections less challenging.
“Now that the legal framework for the 2023 elections is in place following President Muhammadu Buhari’s assent to the Electoral Bill, the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, needs to roll-out the election guidelines in earnest so that the political parties and Nigerians can fully commence the journey to choose their leaders in 2023
I wish to acknowledge the work of the legislature in bringing this law with new innovations into fruition. I also pay tribute to the nudge of the civil society and patriotic Nigerians in making this brand new Electoral Act a reality.” Atiku wrote on his verified twitter handle.
On his part, immediate past Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, Friday, commended President Muhammadu Buhari for finally signing the Electoral Act Amendment) Bill 2022 into law while also applauding the National Assembly, Civil Society Organisations and other Nigerians for insisting on a new electoral law ahead of the 2023 general election.
Saraki gave the commendation in a statement signed by his media adviser, Yusuph Olaniyonu.
While lauding President Buhari for finally put pen to paper on the new law, Saraki said civil society organizations deserve bigger applause “who for the past one year, kept up the pressure and continuously agitated for the passage of the new Electoral Act.”
The statement read: “Let me specifically commend the effort of CSOs like Adopt A Goal Initiative, Raising New Voices Initiative, Human Rights Advocate, One Love Foundation, To Build The Nation Civil Society, YIAGA Africa, International Press Centre, IPC, Centre for Citizens With Disability, CDD, Albino Foundation, CLEEN Foundation, Institute for Media and Society, IMS, Nigerian Women Trust Fund, NWTF, Human Rights Advocate, Ready to Lead Africa and Premium Times Centre for Investigative Journalism, PTCI, among many others. They have kept the issue of the passage of the Electoral Act on the front burner for the past year. They were unrelenting and with the passage of the law, they deserve to be specially commended. We hope they will continue this good work on other key issues that are very important to the development of our dear country.
“The youths in these CSOs have yet again proved that they can accomplish any task of nation-building if they set their minds to it. Their persistence, positive energy, and constructive agitation have contradicted any claim that Nigerian youths are lazy. Rather, the youths of today are reminding us of the role their forebears in the nationalist struggle of the pre-independence era, particularly, the National Youth Movement, NYM, played in bringing an end to colonial rule.I enjoin these youths in the CSOs to take their efforts to another level. That is the level of mobilizing their numerous colleagues to go and register to vote in the coming general elections. The new law provides an opportunity for all Nigerians of age 18 and above to be part of the efforts to build a better future for our country. They have the chance to have their voices heard loudly. We can all choose a better way and a better future. If we want a fresh start, if we want a new direction for Nigeria, we all have to vote for it.
“The new Electoral Act brings us closer to having free, fair, and peaceful elections in which people’s votes count, where the majority will have their way and the minority will have their say. For too long, the old electoral law had been part of the problem. We can now seek to elect our leaders having in mind the current challenges facing our country.
With a new Electoral Act, we can move on to debating real solutions to the problems of insecurity, creation of jobs, strengthening of the economy, cementing national unity and building a better future for all Nigerians.”
Saraki recalled the various efforts the 8th National Assembly he chaired made to give the country a new Electoral Act which led to their submitting the Bill four different times which failed to get Presidential assent.
“That is why it is with great joy that I welcome the news that the country finally has a new electoral act. It is better late than never,” he added.
Similarly, the Inter-Party Advisory Council, IPAC, has commended President Buhari for heeding the counsel of Nigerians by signing into law the Electoral Act Amendment Bill.
IPAC National Chairman, Yabagi Sani in an interview with newsmen on Friday, described the President’s assent as sign of good things to come.
“We commended the president for signing the bill into law. This is long over due. We believe the President has done us proud to have a new electoral law Nigerians will be proud of.
He noted that IPAC believe that signing the bill into law would reduce some of the challenges facing the conduct of elections in the country, such as snatching of ballot boxes, electoral and violence given that election results would be transmitted electronically.
Sani added that the council also support the call on the National Assembly by the President to amend Section 84 (12) that compelled serving political office holders to resign more than 30 days before they can vote or be voted for at conventions or congresses of any political party, for the purpose of the nomination of candidates for any election.
He urged the National Assembly to immediately do the amendment as requested by President Bihari.
Sani also called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to immediately commence the adoption of the new Act for the preparations of the 2023 general elections.
“I believe that INEC is happy that they have a better law they can work with.
“The commission can now go ahead and release the timetable and guidelines for 2023 general elections because there is no much time to be wasted,” Sani added.
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