By Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja
Eighteen Civil Societies Organisations (CSOs) have backed the decision of President Muhammadu Buhari to decline assent to the Electoral Act amendment bill 2018.
The CSOs under the aegis of Coalition of Civil Society Organisation for Justice and Equity said that the country’s nascent democracy was being threatened by conflicting interests as regards the smooth conduct of the 2019 general elections.
The president had in a letter dated 6th December, 2018 addressed to the leadership of the National Assembly cited among others that, the passage of a new electoral bill this far into the electoral process for the 2019 elections could create some uncertainty about the applicable legislation to govern the process.
The president also said that perceived drafting errors contained in the bill were capable of creating ambiguities and absurdities in the electoral process.
But, addressing a press conference Tuesday in Abuja, Comrade Olayemi Success said the president after carefully studying the bill and juxtaposing same with other existing laws, treaties and charters, exercised his powers under Section 58 (4) of the constitution by withholding his assent.
He said, “Nigerians are not ready to entertain any postponement of the 2019 general elections in the name of eleventh hour amendment of our electoral laws.”
“We urge all critical stakeholders in the electioneering process to understand and appreciate the decision of Mr. President to decline assent to the bill.”