Monday, March 4

Electoral Bill:  Presidency defends decision, says Bill had economic and security consequences

The office of the Presidency has defended its decision to not sign the Electoral Bill stating that the Amended bill had legal, financial, economic and security consequences for Nigerians.

This was disclosed in a statement by presidential spokesman, Garba Shehu on Tuesday in Abuja while reacting to media reports on the reason the Electoral Bill was rejected by President Muhammadu Buhari.

The Presidency also added that the economic consequences of signing such a bill, comes at a time Nigeria is  facing the  worst global health crisis in human history.

What the Presidency is saying

The statement read in part, ”The President’s decision to withhold assent from the Electoral Act (Amendment) Bill 2021 has come under scrutiny from media and political circles.

”This is quite correct because it is a decision that will impact all Nigerians. The President’s Office has decided therefore to issue an official statement to make its position clear.

”Nigeria’s strength as a nation and its status as one of the wealthiest economies in Africa with one of its highest standards of living owes above all to its proud democratic processes, which are enshrined in the Electoral Act of 2010.

”It is this Act which the new bill seeks to amend. These amendments have been presented as a means to enhance and build upon our democratic processes.

”After careful review, the President’s Office has found that the opposite is true.

It revealed that the proposed amendments entail significant legal, financial, economic and security consequences for all Nigerians, principal among which would be a severe spike in the cost of holding primary elections by parties – integral to democracies the world over.

The Presidency warned that the Nigerian taxpayer would shoulder the costs, and it would only benefit the richest political parties, highlighting that this comes ”at a time when the nation is seeking to extricate itself from the economic mire of the worst global health crisis in living memory, whatever other merits the new bill may have, now is not the time for such frivolous spending of public money.”

It added that It is worth noting that, as one of Nigeria’s largest political parties, the ruling APC is one of those that stand to benefit from a bill that favours wealthier parties. But it is not the job of this government to protect the APC, however, It is the job of this government to protect Nigeria, her people and her democracy.

In case you missed it

Recall Nairametrics reported yesterday that Nigeria’s Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami stated the reason President Muhammdu Buhari failed to sign the Electoral Bill, citing that it supports insecurity and is discriminatory.