A coalition of Civil Society Organizations, CSOs, has called on the National Assembly to either override the decision of President Muhammadu Buhari or remove the contentious clause(s) from the 2021 Electoral Amendment Bill and transmit it back to the President for assent in the next one month.
The CSOs said this while expressing dismay over the decision of President Buhari to reject the Amended Electoral Act.
Daily Post recalls that Buhari, on Monday, officially rejected the bill which was passed by the National Assembly a month ago.
His decision to withhold his assent followed the inclusion of direct primary elections in the bill.
According to a letter the President sent to the Senate President, Ahmed Lawan, he cited insecurity and the high cost of conducting the direct primary as his reasons for rejecting the bill.
The CSOs made the demand in a joint statement issued to journalists on Tuesday.
The statement was signed by Institute for Media and Society, Yiaga Africa, International Press Centre, Centre for Citizens with Disability, the Albino Foundation, Premium Times Centre for Investigative Journalism, CLEEN Foundation and Nigerian Women Trust Fund.
The statement reads in part, “To avert further complications and logjam in the efforts to strengthen the electoral process, we strongly recommend as follows: The National Assembly as a matter of national emergency should either override the President’s decision or remove the contentious clause (s) from the bill and transmit the bill back to the President for assent within the next 30 days.
“The National Assembly should ensure that all clerical, editorial, and cross-referencing gaps in the current bill are resolved before transference back to the President.
“The President should expeditiously assent to the revised bill upon receipt from the National Assembly.
“Civil society groups, media, and development partners must sustain the effort to protect the will of the people and safeguard the electoral reform process from policy capture and manipulation.
“The National Assembly should ensure that all clerical, editorial, and cross-referencing gaps in the current bill are resolved before transference back to the President.”