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In a Move to Placate Govs, National Assembly Revises Order of Elections

In a deft strategic move to isolate President Muhammadu Buhari over the reordering of the sequence of elections contained in the Electoral Act Amendment Bill 2018, already vetoed by the president, the National Assembly has proposed a new amendment bill that places the governorship and state Houses of Assembly elections first on the order of elections.

Entitled, “Electoral Act Amendment Bill 2018,” which passed first reading on March 21, shortly before the federal legislators proceeded on their Easter break, the bill, which THISDAY sighted, retained word for word the vetoed bill but reviewed the troublesome section 25 of the principal act.

The new section 25 provides that the governorship and state Houses of Assembly elections shall hold first, National Assembly comes second, while the presidential election brings up the rear. The vetoed bill had provided for the National Assembly election to come first, while the governorship and state Houses of Assembly as well as the presidential ones come second and last, respectively.

The new bill, according to THISDAY National Assembly multiple sources, was a partial response to the complaint of state governors that the vetoed bill put them at a clear disadvantage and were prepared to frustrate the planed veto-override by the National Assembly. Sensing the potency of the governors, THISDAY gathered, the National Assembly leadership entered into negotiations with the state chief executives, who were believed to have enormous influence on some of the federal legislators.

THISDAY, April 15, 2018

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