Electoral Bill: Northern CSOs Urge N’ Assembly to Override Buhari’s Veto

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Francis Sardauna in Katsina

The Conference of Northern States Civil Society Networks has asked the National Assembly to, as a matter of urgency, override President Muhammadu Buhari’s veto on the passed Electoral Act Amendment bill.

The northern states civil society networks added that the National Assembly should override President Buhari and exercise its constitutional provision by vetoing the rejected electoral act by the president.

In a letter addressed to the Senate by the Chairman of the Networks, Ibrahim Waiya, and signed by 19 northern civil society organizations, they reminded the National Assembly that overriding the president on the bill is a national duty, not a party affair.

He explained that the signing of the Electoral Amendment Bill will enhance electronic transmission of results and tackle the problems of ballot box snatching, as well as alteration and rigging of election results.

He said: “It will also enhance popular participation by party members via direct primaries, eliminate money politics associated with the delegate system of voting in the indirect primaries and reduce political apathy by party members in particular and the citizens in general.

“Decimate the overbearing influences of Godfathers as party members will be stakeholders and partners in the conduct of all party activities and it will strengthen political parties and democracy in Nigeria.

“It therefore behooves the leadership of the National Assembly to as a matter of public importance override the president and assent the electoral amendment bill 2021 owing to the fact that the reasons given were not justifiable enough for president’s decline.”

According to him, the nation is devoid of credible electoral process, voters’ apathy becomes the order of the day and political parties are turned into military establishments with a repressive structure.

He said the current democratic dispensation of Buhari has been faced with the challenges of internal democracy among the political parties and credible electoral process, which the bill seeks to address by introducing electronic transmission of results and direct primaries for all political parties.

He added that the Conference of Northern Civil Society Networks, which has over 3,000 affiliated individual civil society member organizations across the 19 Northern states, will continue to push for the National Assembly to override President Buhari.