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NASS has betrayed Nigerians on Electoral Bill —Civil Society groups



A coalition of civil society groups on Thursday, expressed disappointment with the National Assembly for failing to meet the deadline set for the passage of the Electoral Bill 2020.

The coalition which comprises of civil society groups including the Centre for Liberty, Concerned Nigerians, The Electoral Hub and Raising New Voices Initiative, at a joint press conference in Abuja, accused the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila and their members of betraying the trust reposed on them by Nigerians.

They also noted that members of the 9th Senate had continued to show their true colours, especially as manifested in the delay to pass the bill.

The CSOs warned that failure to do the needful by the lawmakers would force them to mobilise Nigerians to peacefully occupy the National Assembly until the proposed amendments to the Electoral Act is passed

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Speaking on behalf of the CSOs, Ariyo Atoye of the Centre for Liberty, said:

“As of today, the National Assembly has failed to meet two dates and deadlines set for the passage of the Electoral Bill – December 2020 and 31 March 2021.

“The President of the Senate, Senator Ahmad Lawan, and the leadership of the joint committee of the National Assembly on Electoral Matters, have betrayed the solemn pledge made to Nigerians on 9 December 2020, at the public hearing conducted on the Electoral Bill.

“At this juncture, Nigerians must get ready to peacefully occupy the National Assembly and prevail on our lawmakers to immediately pass a reformed electoral act that will bring integrity to our elections, embrace technology and open the process to transparency and accountability.

“We are worried that the 9th National Assembly appears unperturbed about passing a bill that could give them lasting legacies and etch their names and session in gold.

“It is also troubling that the ruling All Progressive Congress and the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party are less concerned about electoral reforms

“Equally disheartening is the nonchalant attitude of the smaller parties and political stakeholders to the passage of a new electoral act. They always prefer to lament without any coordinated action.”

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