Electoral amendment bill: Lawmaker defends Buhari’s refusal as PDP kicks

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A member of the House of Representatives, Abdullahi Halim, has implored Nigerians to be confident in President Muhammadu Buhari’s willingness to ensure credible, free and fair elections come 2023.

He stated this on Tuesday evening during Channels TV’s Politics Today monitored by our reporter.

He defended the refusal of the President to assent the electoral amendment bill transmitted by the National Assembly.

On Tuesday, President Buhari met with the chairman of the Independent Electoral Commission, INEC, Prof. Mahmoud Yakub and the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu at the Presidential Villa in Abuja, reaffirming his commitment to ensure non-violent, free and fair electoral processes.

For the fourth time in December 2018, Buhari did not assent the electoral amendment bill transmitted by the eighth National Assembly.

Halim however noted that the President’s latest meeting with electoral umpire chief and IGP is a proof of his (Buhari) commitment to deliver on credible polls before stepping out of office in 2023.

He said: “Maybe there are errors that the president wants the National Assembly to look into. I wasn’t in the NASS then.

‘Since the President has now made up his mind that whatever the error is, after due corrections, it should be brought back to him and he will sign the bill.

“I think we should take the President by his words when he has never told the nation a lie.
READ ALSO: Sign Electoral Amendment Bill now, Atiku, Ezekwesili tell Buhari

“After all, he has not signed that bill before and refused to act on the ingredients of the law.

“I’m very confident that after legislative amendments, the bill will scale through,” the Kogi lawmaker stressed.

But Segun Sowunmi, the spokesman for the opposition Peoples Democratic Party in the 2019 elections, flayed the refusal of the President to approve the bill.

He stressed that his party will at its best ‘apply cautious optimism’ to the President’s recent commitment.

“He had time to assent to the bill since 2015 at a time significant improvements would have forced INEC and other electoral gladiators to act accordingly but didn’t.

“Now, our party bears the scars of the last election. We will only expect to see actions on his words of assurance and apply cautious optimism for now.

“We expect that the National Assembly will improve the electoral act while President Buhari appends his signature immediately.

“INEC must also begin to transmit results digitally like other countries abroad,” he ended.

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