By Babajide Okeowo
President Muhammadu Buhari and the National Assembly might be heading for a showdown following the refusal of the president to sign the electoral amendment bill into law.
Consequently, the federal lawmakers are considering vetoing the bill.
By the provision of the law, the National Assembly can bypass presidential assent of a bill into law through a two-third majority vote.
A Senator of the Peoples Democratic Party, George Sekibo, in an interview with Channels Television said some Senators were considering a veto of the bill.
According to Sekibo, a total of 73 signatures have so far been compiled for the veto which is more than the required number to overturn the president.
Recall that the National Assembly had transmitted the bill to the President in November but, in a letter dated December 13 and forwarded to the National Assembly, the president informed the National Assembly of his decision to withhold his signature.
In his letter sent to the National Assembly, President Buhari cited several issues with the bill’s clause on direct primaries.
The President, according to the letter, explained that direct primaries are expensive. This, he said, will put a financial burden on the country’s resources.
He further noted that conducting direct primary elections will be tasking, explaining that since such mode of election means a large turnout of voters, the move would stretch the security agencies.
The Nigerian leader equally fears that with direct primaries, citizens’ rights will be violated while smaller political parties may face marginalisation.
According to him, the move will also lead to more litigation by party members.
This prompted the Senate to go into a closed-door session requested by Senator Sekibo.
The Senate also adjourned its session till tomorrow