Following President Muhammadu Buhari’s decline of assent to the 2021 Electoral Act Amendment Bill, the Progressive Impact Organization for Community Development (PRIMORG) has urged members of the National Assembly (NASS) to act in the best interest of the country by overriding the president’s veto.
PRIMORG, in a statement by its Executive Director, Okhiria Agbonsuremi called on the lawmakers not to throw away the bill because President Buhari refused to assent it but focus on the urgent need to strengthen the electoral system in Nigeria.
Besides the disappointment felt by citizens over the president’s failure to sign the Electoral Act into law, PRIMORG is reminding the federal lawmakers that they now have the full responsibility of ensuring they exercise their constitutional powers of overriding the president’s veto.
“Having carefully examined the merits and the demerits of the Electoral Act (Amendment) Bill, 2021 of which President Muhammadu Buhari refused assent, we strongly urge the National Assembly to take actions that will be in the interest of this great nation other than politicians.
“Knowing fully well that the current amendment will reduce electoral malpractices, encourage transparency and accountability in the electoral process with the introduction of electronic transmission results.
“It is clear that the president’s discretion to withhold assent was not properly exercised in the overall national interest, hence, PRIMORG is urging the National Assembly to invoke the provisions of section 58(5) of the Constitution to pass the Bill into law, through the two-thirds majority of both Houses.
“We are rest assured that history will be very fair to the members of the ninth National Assembly if they ensure that the current amendment is sustained and affected by the lawmakers,” PRIMORG stated.
President Buhari had on Tuesday written to the National Assembly to inform them of his decision to withhold his assent to the bill after a 30-day period within which the President is expected to assent or withhold his approval to the bill ended last Sunday.
According to the President, his decision was informed by advice from relevant Ministries, Departments, and Agencies of Government after a thorough review. Adding that signing the bill into law would have serious adverse legal, financial, economic, and security consequences on Nigeria, particularly given the nation’s peculiarities.