Sign Electoral Bill To Write Your Name In Gold Letters, Group Tells Buhari

The Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD), has joined added its voice to the call on President Muhammadu Buhari to sign into law the Electoral Bill 2021, saying such would represent the most significant legacy of his Presidency.

CDD, a pro-democracy, policy, and research think tank, said the proposals in the Electoral Bill 2021 will truly improve the country’s electoral system and the political party’s candidate selection process.


According to the group, with the successful integration of technology into the electoral process, legal backing for electronic voting and transmission of election results will aid President Buhari in improving Nigeria’s election.

“This will surely be President Buhari’s legacy for Nigeria people,” it noted.

In a statement signed by its Director, Idayat Hassan, the Centre said the next critical step that must be taken is for the “assenting into law, the Electoral Bill 2021, particularly as we head to two off-cycle elections in Ekiti and Osun states in 2022 and the 2023 general elections”.

The Senate had on October 13, 2021, re-amended certain aspects of the Electoral (Amendment) Bill contained in Clauses 43, 52, 63, and 87, respectively. The re-amendment to the clauses followed a motion for re-committal moved by Senator Yahaya Abdullahi.
According to CDD, the new Electoral Bill contains provisions that seek to improve the electoral system, including the process of voting, collation, and announcement of results, and most importantly help address the lack of public confidence in the process.

It noted that the direct primary method for candidate selection proposed in the Bill will improve internal party democracy by strengthening party membership, adding that poor internal processes are largely responsible for the weakness of political parties in Nigeria and have an adverse effect on the country’s governance system.

With the direct primary election, every registered member of the party will directly determine their candidate, the CDD said.
 
This, it said will reduce the floodgates of litigation that usually trail the idea of consensus or imposition of candidates by political godfathers and party owners.

“When signed into law, the Electoral Bill will now effectively return the electoral power to the original custodian, the people, in accordance with the dictate of democracy,” CDD noted, adding that, “Unlike before, the citizens would now be positioned as the decider of who represent their political party and interest in the election instead of the status quo.

“As a keen watcher of the Nigerian political space, we have followed the entire process from the beginning to this point. From submission of memoranda to technical review, retreats, and extensive deliberations of all stakeholders, including contributions from critical stakeholders like the INEC (Independent National Electoral Commission), the political parties, civil society organisations, and youth groups.”

CDD, therefore, urged President Buhari to sign the bill, and “write his name in the golden place of history”.

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