The Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters (Senate), Sen. Ita Enang, disclosed yesterday Monday 3rd of September, 2018 the reason(s) President Buhari did not assent the Electoral Act. Bill.
It will be recalled that the President has declined to assent the controversial Electoral Act Bill which has been passed by the National Assembly.
THE SSA said the President declined assent to the bill due to some reasons.
Firstly, the President was concern about the time fixed for primaries.
He said the schedule for primaries provided that it should not be earlier than 120 days and not later than 90 days to elections.
He buttress further that the schedule would allow Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) only 9 days to collate list of candidates among others.
“His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari, has by communication dated Aug. 30, 2018, to the Senate and the House of Representatives declined assent to the Electoral (Amendment) Bill, 2018.
“I pray for leave, that in view of public interest, the fact of the National Assembly vacation, the imperative to avoid speculation and misinformation, that I give just a few of the rationale by Mr. President.
‘’Mr. President is declining assent to the Electoral Amendment Bill due to some drafting issues that remain unaddressed following the prior revisions to the Bill.
“Mr. President invites the Senate and House of Representatives to address these issues as quickly as possible so that he may grant Assent to the Electoral Amendment Bill.”
Enang added that Section 87(14) of the bill among other sections, needed to be reviewed by the national assembly.
He said, “the proposed amendment to include a new Section 87 (14) which stipulates a specific period within which political party primaries are required to be held has the unintended consequence.
”It leaves INEC with only nine days to collate and compile lists of candidates and political parties as well manage the primaries of 91 political parties for the various elections.
“This is because the Electoral Amendment Bill does not amend sections 31, 34 and 85 which stipulates times for the submission of lists of candidates, publication of lists of candidates and notice of convention, congresses for nominating candidates for elections.”
It is to be noted that the electoral act bill is basically about the reordering of election process, a thing that caused division in the upper chamber some months ago due to the differences of the Senators on the issue.