The Senate President, Ahmed Lawan, on Tuesday expressed optimism that President Muhammadu Buhari would sign the Electoral Act Amendment Bill before the end of the week.
Lawan, who disclosed this to State House correspondents after a meeting with the President at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, said the National Assembly would re-present the Electoral Act Amendment Bill for deliberations on Wednesday.
He said the parliament would pass the contentious bill the same day, adding that what was forwarded to Buhari last year was not the final document.
The lawmakers returned from Christmas break on Tuesday.
The President had in December last year withheld assent to the electoral bill over the direct primary clause in the document
Lawan said: “Well, by the grace of God tomorrow, both chambers, the Senate and the House of Representatives will pass the bill. And I hope that before the end of the week, the bill could be brought back to Mr. President for his assent.
“But one thing I’m sure by the grace of God is we are passing the bill, the Electoral Act Amendment Bill 2010, tomorrow Wednesday, the 19th January in both chambers, and we are happy that at the end of the day, we have been able to narrow down our differences and arrive at the very patriotic resolution that our country must have a new electoral law that will guide the 2023 general elections in the country, and Nigeria would have everything to benefit from this law.
“For us in the Ninth Assembly, the Electoral Act amendment bill is one of our major legislative agendas that we wanted to deal with, and to the glory of God Almighty, by tomorrow, we will be able to pass that bill to Mr. President to assent to it. I hope that the cleaning process will not take more than a day. But if it does, then it has to be early next week. But I’m very optimistic that there is not much to clean up because normally, when we pass a bill like this, it goes to the legislative drafting unit of the National Assembly.
“So what you have in the National Assembly, as passed, is not the final document that comes to the President. And I know that many people were saying there were so many flaws in the bill that was brought to Mr. President, maybe what they had was the bill passed in the Senate or in the House, not the one that was cleaned up, the final document that was cleaned up, because even us we didn’t have that document, we sign it up but I appreciate the efforts of all Nigerians in taking interest in what we do, and even participating by way of looking for what is right and what is not when we pass our bills, or in terms of legislative activities, generally.
“On the whole, I think it’s a worthwhile exercise that we’ve worked so hard in a very bipartisan manner to pass the electoral amendment bill before and Mr. President to raise the observations he did, and for the National Assembly, having consulted widely with Nigerians, with our constituents, and we came to the conclusion, in both chambers, across party lines, in a very patriotic way to say, oh, what we need to do is not waste time, time is of essence in this respect.
“We should just look at the possibility of opening up the mode of primaries. So that you can have direct, you can have indirect and even consensus, and it’s up to political parties to decide which option is okay for them, and at what time, but I’m sure that all the options will be used, all the options will be used by political parties, in different occasions or whatever”.
Join the conversation
Support Ripples Nigeria, hold up solutions journalism
Balanced, fearless journalism driven by data comes at huge financial costs.
As a media platform, we hold leadership accountable and will not trade the right to press freedom and free speech for a piece of cake.
If you like what we do, and are ready to uphold solutions journalism, kindly donate to the Ripples Nigeria cause.
Your support would help to ensure that citizens and institutions continue to have free access to credible and reliable information for societal development.
SPECIAL REPORT: Illegal miners degrade Ekiti community, engage in child labour
The activities of illegal miners in a community in Ekiti State have caused degradation of the environment, as miners engage...
SPECIAL REPORT: Inside the illegal trading of forest woods in Cross River community
“With a N20,000 bribe, an external buyer can influence the youth in host communities , Cross River State, to cut...
SPECIAL REPORT: Enugu govt watches as waste takes over state, threatens public health, environment
In this report, Arinze Chijioke looks at how delays in evacuation of waste in Enugu State encourages indiscriminate waste disposal, its health implications, and how...
INVESTIGATION: NDDC awards N1bn road contract to poultry farm
The Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) in what appears a breach of procurement laws, awarded a contract worth N1.028 billion...
FEATURE… Hard job, low income: Agony of Nigerian commercial drivers
Amid increase in fuel price over the years, coupled with bad roads and insecurity in Nigeria, many commercial drivers have...