8th December, 2021
By Angela Atabo
The Electoral Hub, a Civil Society Organisation (CSO) has joined the call on President Muhammadu Buhari to sign the Electoral Act Amendment Bill without delay.
Ms Princess Hamman-Obels, Director, the Electoral Hub, an organ of the Initiative for Research, Innovation and Advocacy in Development (IRIAD) made the call in a statement on Wednesday in Abuja.
Hamman-Obels said that signing the bill by the president would show his commitment towards the successful conduct of the election in 2023.
“As the 2023 general elections draw near and the atmosphere across the nation already warming up to the elections.
“A lot of Nigerians have applauded the bold move by the National Assembly to pass the Electoral Act Bill 2021 and out rightly transmitted it to President Muhammadu Buhari for assent,” he said.
She said that the timely assent to the bill would give the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and political parties sufficient time to internalise and test-run the new provisions in the Bill.
She added that it would also help stakeholders to prepare ahead for the 2023 general elections.
“This Bill contains provisions that enhance the credibility and quality of elections, as well as address certain loopholes in the hitherto electoral legal framework.
“The provisions in the Bill include Legal backing for the use of technologies for voters’ accreditation, electronic transmission of election results, enhanced timelines for electoral activities.
“The bill also includes, concise definition of over-voting, conferment of legal authority on INEC to review questionable election results and direct primaries for all political parties.’’
Hamman-Obels said that it was important to note that a timely assent to the Bill would positively facilitate an effective and efficient election administration.
She added that the timely assent would also ensure that political parties and other electoral stakeholders plan, operationalise and implement efficiently electoral service delivery.
“It is also worth noting that one of the reasons the President declined assent to the Bill in 2018 was that it was too close to the 2019 general elections.
“With the 2023 general elections less than 445 days away, it is crucial not to delay assent to the Bill any longer. It is therefore imperative for Buhari to assent to the Bill as a matter of urgency.