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Electoral Bill Takes Front Burner As National Assembly Resumes Tuesday

The National Assembly is billed to resume plenary on Tuesday after Christmas and New Year break, with expectations from Nigerians on the Electoral Act (Amendment) Bill and the 1999 Constitution Review.

The President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), had vetoed the electoral bill over the restriction of political parties to direct primary, insisting on the direct, indirect and consensus options.

Both the Senate and the House of Representatives had suspended action on the bill till resumption on January 18, 2022.

Meanwhile, a member of the House of Representatives from Plateau State, Dachung Bagos, has said more than 300 members of the legislative chamber across party lines are willing to override Buhari’s veto on the electoral bill.

Bagos, a member of the Peoples Democratic Party, in an interview with our correspondent, noted that the proposed vetoing of the President, which reportedly garnered signatures from over 75 of the 109 members of the Senate, would have also succeeded in the House.

“I can assure you that if we were given that opportunity to gather signatures, we will get over 300 signatures. If we were given the opportunity to gather signatures, we will have more than (the required) two-third (majority),” he said.

When asked why members of the House are not mobilising to override the veto, the lawmaker said, “The electoral bill is what every politician is interested in. And mind you, vetoing the President at this particular period is not about direct or indirect primary.

“The concern here is, let it not be that because of direct primary, it will now be an issue that the 9th National Assembly will not be able to amend the Electoral Act.”

Bagos, however, expressed concern that Buhari might reject the bill again, recalling how the President raised various issues against each of the four versions passed by the 8th National Assembly before time ran against the proposal.

PUNCH

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