By Babajide Okeowo
President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to assent to the Electoral Act Bill citing political, moral and constitutional factors.
President Buhari’s refusal reasons were contained in his letter to the national Assembly. He explained that he rejected the bill, following consultations and advice from relevant ministries, departments and agencies.
The letter which will be read to senators and House of Representatives members today at plenary session where the reasons adduced by the President will be debated.
The reasons, according to President Buhari included high cost of conducting direct primaries, the security challenge of monitoring the shadow polls, violation of citizens’ rights, marginalization of political parties, likely litigation and manipulation of the exercise.
The President reasoned that it would be better to allow each political party to determine its mode of choosing standard bearer for elections.
Recall that the bill was transmitted to the President on November 19, 2021. The 30 days provided by the Constitution for signing or rejection of the bill expired yesterday.
There was confusion over Buhari’s letter to the National Assembly on the Electoral Act Amendment Bill 2021.