NASS should override Buhari’s veto on electoral bill, #FixPolitics insists

Notwithstanding the National Assembly’s latest soft-pedal in overriding President Muhammadu Buhari  on the Electoral Law Amendment Bill, #FixPolitics Initiative has insisted that the federal lawmakers have no alternative to resolve the issue.

It called on them to override Buhari in line with the clearly expressed desire of the Nigerian electorate.

The group made the call in a statement on Wednesday jointly signed by the Co-Chair, Constitutional,  Political and Electoral Reforms, Prof Remi Sonaiya; the Executive Director, Anthony Ubani; and the Executive Director, OrderPaper Advocacy Initiative, Oke Epia.

“The NASS should move swiftly with common and patriotic purpose to override the President’s veto now and pass the Electoral Amendment Bill into law with a two-third majority of its members,” it said.

Buhari had written to NASS, requesting that the clause relating to direct primaries be removed from the bill.

The bill, transmitted to the President on November 19, 2021 after its passage by the Senate and House of Representatives, should, by law, be returned to the Assembly within 30 days by the President, with or without his assent, the group said.

“The President’s letter refusing to assent to the bill was sent on December 20, a day after the constitutionally mandated period, demonstrating a brazen attitude of disdain for the rule of law and for citizens who are supportive of the bill,” #FixPolitics maintained.

Nigerians expect the National Assembly to put into effect the provision stated in Section 58(5) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended), it noted.

According to the section, “Where the President withholds his assent and the bill is again passed by each house by two-thirds majority, the bill shall become law and the assent of the President shall not be required.”

NASS should be reminded that they are not an appendage, department or parastatal of the Presidency, #FixPolitics said. “They are a co-equal branch of government with the Executive and Judiciary. Members of the NASS are elected by Nigerians to serve as their representatives and a check on the excesses and likely abuse of power by the executive branch of government.”

To #FixPolitics, this latest violation of the 1999 Constitution and disregard for the needs of Nigerians by Buhari sets up a significant test of the loyalty of NASS members.

“Are they loyal to Buhari or to the Constitution and by extension to the Nigerian people in whom the 1999 Constitution invests sovereignty?” it queried. “Enough of the arrogance of power. Enough of the impunity. Enough of the disdain for the will and needs of Nigerians and enough of the constant violation of the 1999 Constitution.

“Nigeria is a democracy. It is time for NASS to rise to the call to duty, act boldly, meet the challenge of the moment and save Nigerian democracy from further erosion and dictatorial reflexes,” the group added.

Ehime Alex
Ehime Alex
Ehime Alex reports the Capital Market, Energy, and ICT. He is a skilled webmaster and digital media enthusiast.

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