National Assembly Politics

Fresh Crisis Looms, Reps Fault Buhari, Tackle Malami Over Electoral Bill, Reveals Next Action –

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Reps Fault Buhari, Tackle Malami Over Electoral Bill, Reveals Next Action

Information reaching Ibom Focus says that Reps Fault Buhari, Tackle Malami Over Electoral Bill, Reveals Next Action

Members of the House of Representatives have criticised the ruling All Progressives Congress and President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), for withholding assent to the Electoral Act (Amendment) Bill.

The lawmakers also criticised the Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami (SAN), over his claim on why the National Assembly restricted political parties to direct primary in the electoral bill.

The Deputy Minority Leader of the House, Toby Okechukwu, in his New Year message issued on Friday, stated that an improved electoral system remained critical to the nation’s quest for good governance and accelerated national development.

Malami had alleged that the lawmakers imposed direct primary on parties for political reasons.

The minister was on a phone-in programme on Radio Kano on Sunday to justify the decision by the President to withdraw assent from the bill.

He said the new electoral law had an excessive cost implication, discriminatory and supportive of insecurity, adding that signing it into law would only initiate a new crisis that would lead to court cases.

“Therefore, the lawmakers are only concerned about their political inclination while the President is concerned about the entire lives of Nigerians made up of politicians and non-politicians.

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“Any bill signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari is in the interest of all Nigerians irrespective of their inclinations. He is after satisfying the interest of the over 200 million Nigerians he is serving and not a particular sector,” Malami partly said.

In the message titled, ‘New Year: Deputy Minority Leader charges Buhari on credible polls,’ Okechukwu described 2022 as a critical year in Nigeria’s democratic development, calling on the APC government to “show commitment and a sense of priority” towards electoral reform and leave a legacy of credible elections.

He said, “As 2022 dawns, therefore, the onus is on the President Muhammadu Buhari-led APC administration to prioritise electoral reform and leave our electoral system better than it met it.

“It is regrettable that a party, which came to power on the strength of electoral reforms, democratic temperaments and free electoral climate engendered by PDP administrations has refused to add value to the system either in the amendment to the Constitution or the Electoral Act.

“The quest for an improved electoral system cannot be a battle we regularly have to fight. The President, who has been hired to do a job should simply do so and leave Nigeria better than he met it.”

The lawmaker, a member of the PDP representing Aninri/Awgu/Oji River Federal Constituency in Enugu State, stated that the National Assembly would, on its part, take steps on the Electoral Act Repeal and Enactment Bill immediately upon resumption.

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“We will do the needful on resumption in spite of the ambush and uncanny timing of refusal of assent on the day the Assembly was due for Christmas break.

“I wish Nigerians a happy New Year and we remain supremely confident in the efforts to rescue Nigeria from its present chaotic state marked by insecurity, economic hardship, and widening fault lines,” Okechukwu said.

Similarly, the lawmaker representing Somolu Federal Constituency in Lagos State, Ademorin Kuye (APC), in a separate statement issued on Friday, disagreed with Malami on his (minister) position on the electoral bill.

The statement read in part, “In his (Malami) diatribe, he posited that the lawmakers are only concerned about their political inclination and that their legislative activities, especially with the electoral bill that was passed, is insensitive, discriminatory and supports insecurity.

“While the minister is entitled to his opinion, we must resist the attempt to pitch the Executive against Legislature while denigrating the synergy that has existed between both arms of government.

“If the impact of lawmaking is only political as Mr Malami has posited, the landmark Petroleum Industry Bill that had eluded many administrations since 2003 would still be in the dustbin of Executive-Legislative bickering.”

Reps Fault Buhari

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