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2023: Anambra, Ekiti, Osun polls reveal gains of new Electoral Act —Buhari

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Buhari

Ahead of the 2023 elections, President Muhammadu Buhari has expressed confidence in a fair process needed to ensure the smooth transition of democracy as his administration winds down.

President Buhari spoke on Saturday during a televised nation-wide broadcast in commemoration of Nigeria’s 62nd Independence Day, on Saturday.

According to Buhari, the signing of the Electoral Act will further entrench a process which will foster trust as Nigerians will be confident of exercising their franchises.

Previous attempts to amend the nation’s electoral laws were unsuccessful during the 8th National Assembly led by former Senate President Bukola Saraki and former Speaker Yakubu Dogara.

But lawmakers in the 9th National Assembly successfully amended the act, although they also had an initial setback.

President Buhari had withheld his assent to the bill in November 2021, citing the cost of conducting direct primary elections, security challenges, and possible manipulation of electoral processes by political players as part of the reasons for his decision.

Read also: Buhari scores self high on security, fight against corruption in last Independence Day speech

The House had re-amended the bill to include the direct and indirect primary options while the Senate re-adjusted it to include the direct, indirect, and consensus modes of selecting political parties’ candidates.

Both chambers later passed the harmonised version on January 25 – the final agreed version of the amendment to Clause 84 which included the direct, indirect, and consensus primary modes.

In his Independence Day broadcast, Buhari said, “No matter the gains, it is important to elect credible leaders in a fair electoral process which is why I bequeath a sustainable democratic culture. This is why I signed the Electoral act to foster a healthy system; the pursuit of such a process remains a guiding light as I prepare to wind down.

“Anambra, Ekiti and Osun has shown a high degree of transparency whereby people’s votes mattered and this will cascade into the 2923 elections.

“I also want to appeal to all aspirants to conduct issue based campaign and shun any divisive utterances.”

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