Keyamo Blames Electoral Bill Controversy On NASS ‘Self-Serving’ Nature
As controversy continues to trail the rejection of the Electoral Act Amendment Bill, Mr Festus Keyamo has accused the National Assembly of putting their interests over that of Nigerians.
Keyamo made the allegation on Sunday in reaction to claims that President Muhammadu Buhari declined to assent to the bill to win his re-election in 2019.
“I want to say clearly to Nigerians that we got to this point because of the self-serving nature of the National Assembly,” said the Senior Advocate of Nigeria during his appearance on Channels Television’s Sunday Politics.
Earlier, a PDP chieftain Buba Galadima said the Buhari administration was desperate and wanted to retain power by all means.
He had called on called on Nigerians and the international community to pressure the President to sign the Electoral Act Amendment Bill into law.
But Keyamo described the allegations as unnecessary and explained the rationale behind the President’s decision.
He said the opposition ought to have considered if the reasons given by the President were valid or not.
“The same international community they are appealing to will tell them that international conventions all over the world say that in any build-up to any election, it is wrong, it is against the international best practices to make any changes in any electoral law less than six months to any election,” said the spokesman for the Buhari Campaign Organisation.
He added, “If the President signs the Electoral Act Amendment Bill now, our elections will not be deemed to be credible, our elections will not be deemed to be free and fair.
“If he does not sign it like he has refused to do, that is when it will be deemed free and fair.”
Keyamo stressed that the President’s reason that the signing of the bill was too close to the elections was in tandem with the international protocol.
According to him, elections were cancelled in Kenya because of a similar situation in the country.
The senior advocate condemned the claims that the President rejected the bill because he was against the use of card readers for the polls.
He said, “Nigerians don’t know that the version of the bill that was transmitted to the President in August this year, which was the third time, did not include the provision regarding the card reader.
“If the President does not want card reader, the President would have quickly signed that version that was sent to him in August. It was the President that pointed it out to them.”