The Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD) has said that President Muhamadu Buhari missed a priceless opportunity when he declined assent to the Electoral Act Amendment Bill 2021.
In a statement by its director, Idayat Hassan, the CDD expressed shock at the president’s decision, saying “Nigerians had all expected that President Buhari would write his name in gold as the President who bequeathed an improved electoral framework on the country”.
With the next general election being just fourteen months away, the CDD called on the National Assembly to immediately toe two immediate options which are either to veto the President and pass the Electoral Act Amendment Bill 2021 into an act of the National Assembly or remove the provisions on direct primaries as raised by the President and immediately re-present the bill to the President for his assent.
“We must not allow a single provision truncate the goodness in the proposed electoral bill,” the group stressed.
According to the CDD, “Nigeria is in dire need of a new and robust framework for the conduct of elections. The reform in the Electoral Bill 2021 will improve the quality of elections thereby imbuing citizens trust in our democracy.
“The National Assembly as the true representative of the people must not allow the huge human and financial resources that went into the Electoral Bill 2021 – from drafting to readings at the floor, the public hearing, the committee works, the retreat, the conference committee et al to go to waste”.
The CDD urged the National Assembly to act with immediacy to save Nigeria’s elections and her democracy.