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Buhari Refuses To Sign Electoral Bill, Senators, Reps Reveals Next Action –

Buhari Refuses To Sign Electoral Bill, Senators, Reps Reveals Next Action

Information reaching Ibom Focus says that Buhari Refuses To Sign Electoral Bill, Senators, Reps Reveals Next Action

Some federal lawmakers may have commenced the process of mobilising to override President Muhammadu Buhari’s apparent rejection of the Electoral Act (amendment) Bill, it was learnt yesterday.

Buhari who is currently out of the country has up till 12 midnight today to give or decline assent to the bill.

Many Senators and Representatives contacted yesterday said the President’s body language had shown that he has no interest in signing the bill.

The Presidency confirmed yesterday that Buhari had been fully briefed on the contentious issues in the bill and would make his decision known to the National Assembly in due course.

Although it was not immediately clear last night how many federal lawmakers are willing to back the override move or how far they can go, there are already moves by the executive to nip the plot in the bud.

A Senator who spoke on condition of anonymity confided in one of our correspondents that the ‘fear of Buhari’ is no longer an issue to the lawmakers as his tenure will expire in 2023.

But investigation showed that some other federal makers are not disposed to overriding the President.

A source wondered whether any move against Buhari could even succeed in the National Assembly.

Electoral Bill

Said the source: “How can you explain a situation where the President of the Senate and Chairman of the National Assembly, Ahmad Lawan, and Deputy Senate President Ovie Omo-Agege have led a delegation of Senators to attend the turbaning of Yusuf Buhari while the President, Yusuf’s father, is in far away Turkey?”

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The source added: “Does this portray a National Assembly that can override the President’s veto? Don’t forget that Lawan and Speaker Gbajabiamila have been practically begging President Buhari to sign the bill through their endless trips to the Villa.

“Don’t also forget that the clause seeking to make direct primary mandatory for political parties is the brainchild of lawmakers most of whom lost out during the last local government and state congresses of the All Progressives Congress.

“The lawmakers invented the clause to get back at their governors by making them lose relevance on who should vote or be voted for during party primary elections.

“The governors have not been resting. They have made their representations to Buhari who seems to have been swayed by their argument.

“It is also left to be seen if the President would not take the advice of the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, who has expressly warned against assent to the Bill.

“The time limit provided by the constitution for the President to sign any Bill transmitted to him

by the National Assembly has now expired in the case of the Electoral Bill.

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“This is a bad case for the present crop of National Assembly members. Most of them are at loggerheads with their governors and the only escape route available to them has been scuttled by the President.

“As it is they are between the proverbial devil and the deep blue sea. Most of them may not make it to the National Assembly in 2023.

“They have dared their governors by trying to tie their hands and remove their influence in deciding who gets what during party primary. They now have to live with the consequences of their action.

“The only way they can go ahead to override the President’s veto is if Buhari calls them into a room and tells them ‘I support what you have done, I like direct primary but I don’t want to sign the Bill but I want you to go and do the needful by passing it into law in line with the constitution.’

“This is the only condition under which they can attempt to override the President. Notwithstanding, they have already bitten more than they can chew and they would live to curse the day they decided to diminish the powers and influence of their governors.”

Another source however attributed the non-passage of the 2022 budget by the National Assembly last week to its anticipation that the President would not sign the Electoral Act (amendment) Bill.

Electoral Bill

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