Legislative Revolution Network, an arm of Project Victory Call Initiative, a.k.a. PVC Naija, a Non-Governmental Organisation committed to political education and advocacy has called on the national assembly to bear on president Buhari regarding the electoral act bill.
In a letter addressed to the senate president titled “Call to veto the electoral act 2010 (amendment) bill, 2021, the letter reads
“We hereby call on your esteemed leadership of the National Assembly to urgently convoke a Joint Session of the Upper and the Lower Houses of the National Assembly on the need to urgently save our Democracy and by extension, our nation from the over bearing attitude of President Mohammadu BUHARI (“PMB”)!
Nigerians at home and in the Diaspora had expected that PMB will for once rise above primordial partisanship, unpopular and narrow political interests of a few politicians, to immediately assent the Electoral Act 2010 (Amendment) 2021 Bill, hereinafter referred to as “Electoral Bill” into law. But to the surprise of a few, he toed the partisan line of ignominy!
Sir, we all have expected that he will give Nigerians a reason to celebrate this the 30th Anniversary of Abuja on the 12th of December 2021 and his birthday in few days’ time on 17th December, 2021.
History beckoned on him to present the signed Electoral Bill 2021 as a perfect gift to Nigerians! This would have been a glorious opportunity to him. Alas! Mr. President squandered the opportunity to etch his name in Nigeria’s democratic plate as an advocate of electoral reforms!
As you may recall, His Excellency, in June 2021, promised Nigerians and made a commitment to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) that “we will make available to them (INEC) everything (including signing the Electoral Act 2021) they need to operate efficiently, so that no one will say we don’t want to go, or that we want a third term”!
Mr President equally summed this up vowing that: “There will be no excuse for failure. We will meet all of INEC’s demands”!
We are also aware that His Excellency forwarded the Electoral Bill, after its successful passage by the two Houses of National Assembly, to the Independent National Electoral Commission for their opinion. We are now aware that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has accepted the Electoral Bill and has found it to be a qualitative advancement to electoral processes in the country with the introduction of electronic transmission of results!
We are shocked however that the opportunity to put fidelity to his words and reject all manner of excuses being made by a few persons who want to continue with the business-as-usual politics was thrown away! This, to us, amounts to a day light rape of Democracy and it is nothing but an abuse of power!
It was gratifying that INEC said publicly that: “it is the constitutional and legal responsibility of the Commission to give effect to laws passed by the National Assembly”.
Our joy was short lived by the refusal of Mr President to accent to the a bill placed before him by over 200 million Nigerians whose mandate the National Assembly represents as LAWMAKERS!
No law is perfect, but laws are made better via use, review and amendment. We, however, concede that after testing the exclusive use of direct primaries in the coming Governorship primaries in Ekiti and Osun States, the process could be re-evaluated to assess the impacts and challenges. We must continue to learn and get better but never afraid of taking bold steps!
In the light of this, we urge National Assembly to demonstrate legislative responsibility and leadership by showing courage to VETO the Electoral Bill bearing in mind that it was passed as the Electoral Bill 2021, requiring that the process is concluded soonest and it provides an opportunity to reinvigorate the electoral legal framework of early representation ahead of 2023 general elections!
We know that Mr. President has committed many impeachable infractions and offences, which were overlooked by the National Assembly in the interest of our nascent democracy, but there is a time to say enough is enough, that time we believe is now!
We hope that the National Assembly will boldly stand with the principle of democracy that power belongs to the people, on this. 200 million people are waiting to see the wishes of the majority prevail!”