President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to assent to the Electoral Act Amendment Bill.asking the National Assembly to remove the clause that has to do with direct primaries from the bill and return it to him.
It was learnt that the President, who stated this in his letter to the Senate, asked the National Assembly to remove the controversial clause on direct primaries from the bill and return the proposed law to him for assent.
The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, confirmed to one of our correspondents that Buhari had sent the letter to the National Assembly.
A source who was privy to the content of the letter said the President refused assent because political parties had their various constitutions that stipulated mode of primaries that should be adopted.
Assembly, asking the lawmakers to look at the clause that has to do with direct primaries by political parties, work on it and return the document for assent because it will compound insecurity in the country,” the source added.
The bill was transmitted to the President on November 19, 2021, after both chambers of the National Assembly passed shortly before a tripartite meeting with the APC leadership and the governors.
Shehu said, “It (letter to the Senate) is a privileged communication so it is for them (National Assembly) to disclose the contents.”
Apart from mandatory direct primaries, the bill also makes a provision for electronic transmission of results by INEC and increases the limit for election spending by candidates.
The letter is expected to be read in the two chambers of the National Assembly during plenary session on Tuesday 21st December, 2021.
The APC Governors Forum led by Atiku Bagudu of Kebbi State had rejected the bill because of the direct primary issue.