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Electoral Act Amendment: NGF Commends Senate, Asks Reps To Include Consensus Option

Friday Okeregbe and Ronke Idowu  
Updated January 20, 2022
File photo of some members of Nigeria Governors’ Forum at their meeting in Abuja.

 

The Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) has commended the Senate for re-amending the Electoral Act Amendment Bill giving room for direct, indirect, and consensus options for nominating candidates for the various political parties in the country.

The governors said this during their meeting held on Wednesday night in Abuja.

They commended the Senate for amending clause 84 regarding the mode of candidate selection in the Electoral Act Amendment Bill.

They also urged the House of Representatives to do the same by adding the consensus clause.

The state governors also discussed issues as regards the nation’s security challenges, health, food security, among others.

READ ALSO: Electoral Act Amendment: NASS Re-Amends Bill, Allows Direct And Indirect Primaries

Concerning fuel subsidy removal, they resolved to engage the organized labour on the best approach to take to avoid causing hardship to citizens.

The governors however hold the view that issues regarding fuel subsidy or prices of petroleum products are already provided for in the newly signed Petroleum Industry Act.

They asked that states should ramp up vaccination and other covid 19 management strategies, in view of the Omicron variant.

Governors at the meeting include the NGF Chairman and Ekiti State Governor, Kayode Fayemi; Kano State Governor Abdullahi Ganduje; Nasarawa Governor Abdullahi Sule; Anambra Governor Willie Obiano; Oyo State Governor Seyi Makinde and Osun State Governor Gboyeba Oyetola.

Also at the meeting are Deputy Governors of Gombe; Yobe; Enugu; Bauchi; Lagos; Ondo; Benue; Katsina; Rivers; and Kogi.

 

Senate’s U-Turn

The Nigerian Senate on Tuesday rescinded its decision on making direct primaries the only method of electing candidates by political parties.

The decision was taken a few days after President Muhammadu Buhari said he was ready to sign the Electoral Act Amendment Bill after the National Assembly makes the necessary adjustments.

The direct primary clause had earlier hindered the assent to the bill, however, the President in an exclusive interview with Channels Television said that he was willing to sign if only the legislators will effect changes which must include the addition of consensus candidates and indirect primary options to the mode of selecting a candidate for an election.

Senate Leader, Senator Yahaya Abubakar (Kebbi North) during plenary on Wednesday explained that the motion for re-committal of the bill to the Committee, on the Whole, was against the backdrop of the “need to address the observation by Mr. President C-in-C and make necessary amendment in accordance with Order 87(c) of the Senate Standing Orders, 2022 (as amended); and relying on order 1(b) and 52(6) of the Senate Standing Orders, 2022 (as amended).”

Accordingly, the chamber rescinded its decision on the affected Clause of the Bill as passed and recommit same to the Committee of the Whole for consideration and passage.

In the same vein, the House of Representatives today also rescinded its earlier decision on compulsory direct primaries.

However, unlike their counterparts in the Senate, the Reps adopted direct and indirect primaries but expunged the option of consensus candidature.