President Muhammadu Buhari has explained why he declined assent to the Electoral Act (Amendment) Bill 2021, citing security challenges, and high cost of direct primaries.
In a letter addressed to the President of the Senate, Ahmed Lawan after the 30-day window for him to assent the bill elapsed over the weekend, the President stated that the prevailing situation in the country would not allow him to sign the bill.
Buhari cited the high cost of conducting direct primaries, the security challenge of monitoring the election, violation of citizens’ rights, and marginalization of small political parties among other reasons for rejecting the bill.
He further revealed that he received informed advice from relevant Ministries, Departments, and Agencies of the government, and had also carefully reviewed the Bill in light of the current realities prevalent in the Federal Republic of Nigeria in the circumstances.
Buhari concluded by saying it would be better to allow each political party to determine its mode of selecting candidates for election.
This is coming after the Senate President and Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, expressed confidence that President Buhari would assent the bill after its transmission on December 19.