Give Assent to Electoral Act Amendment Bill, CSO tells Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari

By Harry Awurumibe, Editor Abuja Bureau

Co-convener of a Civil Society Organisation (CSO), Centre for Liberty (CFL), Comrade Ariyo Dare-Atoye, has demanded for the immediate Assent to the Electoral Amendment Bill by President Muhammadu Buhari, arguing that he would have etched his name in Gold in the political evolution of Nigeria if he signs the Bill into Law.

Spe§aking on Tuesday on African Independent Television breakfast programme Kakaaki, Dare-Atoye posited that President Buhari has an ample opportunity now to be on the side of the majority of Nigerians who want him to give his Assent to the Electoral Act Amendment Bill.

According to him: “Majority of Nigerians want Mr. President to give his Assent to the Electoral Act Amendment Bill without further delay because it will help to deepen the nation’s democracy. There are many good items in the Bill than the Direct Primaries mode of electing party candidates”.

Dare-Atoye insists that there is no longer any excuses for the President not give his Presidential Assent after it has been confirmed that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has replied the President’s letter to confirm that the Commission is adequately prepared and ready to supervise the Direct Primary elections of political parties.

Said he: “INEC has said it has the capacity and capability to implement all that are contained in the Electoral Act Amendment Bill. Come to think of it, we (CSO) have carried out our own investigations and can confirm that INEC is capable to handle the Direct Primary elections of political parties”.

“Infact, it’s not true that INEC needs up to N500 billion to conduct Direct Primary elections. After all, they are going to supervise only five primaries. They are party primaries for the President, Governors, State House of Assembly candidates, Federal House of Representatives and Senate seats”, Dare-Atoye stated.

He also said that INEC will deploy mostly National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) members whose duties will be to stay at the 8,000 plus wards where the primary elections will hold to observe proceedings, arguing that “both the INEC staffers and NYSC Ad hoc staff do not really have any role in the primary elections than to standby and watch and later write reports to INEC Headquarters”.

The civil rights activist therefore said that the Electoral Act Amendment Bill if Assented to by President Buhari will ensure that Nigeria electoral processes can be trusted and anyone who losses election in a free, fair and credible elections will go home without making any trouble.

According to him, INEC is prepared for electronic platform in our elections, they are also prepared to validate our election with electronic platform.

“We saw what happened in the Anambra governorship election. We earlier saw it in Edo and Ondo elections where INEC introduced electronic platform where people were able to check the election’s result”.

“Nigerians are desirous that the Electoral Act Amendment Bill is important in conducting free, fair and credible elections, they know that it would reduce violence in the nation’s elections and the huge cost expended on it”, he concluded.

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