A coalition of civil society organisations has called on the National Assembly not to postpone resumption of sitting so scheduled for January 18, 2022 so as to fast-track the process of passing the Electoral Act (Amendment) Bill 2021 vetoed by President Muhammadu Buhari.
The civil society groups made the call in Abuja on Monday during a press briefing to advocate electoral reforms in the country.
File photo used to illustrate story.
The conference which was jointly addressed by Convener of Raising New Voices Initiative, Jude Feranmi, Executive Director of Adopt a Goal Initiative, Ariyo-Dare Atoye, and Rachel Anyanwu, called on the leadership of National Assembly to rectify all errors which may cause issues in the interpretation and execution of the law by government agencies.
They added that such errors were responsible for the refusal of the President to assent to the bill.
The coalition said, “On December 20, 2021, President Muhammadu Buhari wrote to the National Assembly citing varying reasons why he had refused to assent to the Electoral Amendment Bill sent to him by both chambers.
“The conclusion reached by the President drew various criticisms from the Nigerian populace and outright disappointment from civil society organisations working to ensure the conduct of freer, fairer and more credible elections in the forthcoming exercises happening in Ekiti, Osun and the 2023 general elections.
“To say the least, Mr President’s refusal to assent to this bill has set back the advocacy for these democratic reforms. However, as civil society organisations, we cannot rest and must ensure that the desire of Nigerians for a more credible electoral process where the people can elect leaders of their choices and their votes will count must become a reality.
“It is for this reason that we are calling the attention of the National Assembly to make the following demands.
“Under no circumstance should the January 18 resumption date set by the leadership of both chambers for members of the Senate and House of Reps be postponed. Any further delay will put in jeopardy our efforts to ensure the passage of this bill.”
SaharaReporters, New York