Electoral Act: NASS Counters Buhari, Malami On Section 84(12) At Supreme Court

A photo combination of the National Assembly complex and the Supreme Court.

 

The National Assembly has countered a suit filed by President Muhammadu Buhari and the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, on the controversial Section 84(12) of the Electoral Amendment Act 2022.

While the President and minister asked the Supreme Court to interpret the provision of the section of the law, the lawmakers opposed the request to strike it out.

Their position was contained in a counter-affidavit filed by the counsel to the National Assembly, Kayode Ajulo, on Monday at the apex court in Abuja.

The National Assembly asked the Supreme Court to strike out the suit instituted by President Buhari and Malami, saying the court cannot be invoked to amend the provision of any law validity made by lawmakers in the exercise of their legislative powers as granted by the Constitution.

According to them, the 1999 Constitution as amended gives the National Assembly the power to make laws for good governance in Nigeria.

READ ALSO: Buhari, Malami Ask Supreme Court To Interpret Section 84(12) Of Electoral Act

Besides seeking interpretation of the contentious section, the President and the minister, in the suit filed on April 29, sought an order of the apex court to strike out the section of the Electoral Act.

The duo who were plaintiffs in the suit contended that Section 84 (12) of the Electoral (Amendment) Act, 2022 was inconsistent with the provisions of Sections 42, 65, 66, 106, 107, 131, 137, 147, 151, 177, 182, 192 and 196 of the Constitution of Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, (as amended), as well Article 2 of the African Charter on Human and People and Peoples Rights.

For them, the Constitution already provides qualification and disqualification for the offices of the President and Vice President, Governor and Deputy Governor, Senate and House of Representatives, House of Assembly, Ministers, Commissioners, and Special Advisers.

President Buhari and Malami, therefore, prayed the court for “A declaration that the joint and combined reading of Sections 65, 66, 106, 107, 131, 137, 147, 151, 177, 182, 192 and 196 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, (as amended); the provision of Section 84 (12) of the Electoral Act, 2022, which also ignores Section 84(3) of the same Act, is an additional qualifying and/or disqualifying factors for the National Assembly, House of Assembly, Gubernatorial and Presidential elections as enshrined in the said constitution, hence unconstitutional, unlawful, null and void.”

Electoral Act: Our Message Is To Convince Nigerians That Their Votes Will Count – Omo-Agege

 

The Deputy Senate President, Ovie Omo-Agege, on Tuesday said the passage of the Electoral Act by the National Assembly is to pass a message, convincing Nigerians that their votes will count.

The Deputy Senate President, who is also an All Progressives Congress’ governorship aspirant, addressed his supporters in Ughelli North of Delta State, where he insisted that the act was enacted by the National Assembly and duly assented to by President Buhari.

According to him, people have been misinformed about the Act, stating that the introduction of a bimodal system of voting would foster transparency as well as ensure a fair and credible electoral process for the forthcoming 2023 general elections.

READ ALSO: Zoning: Avoid Self-Inflicted Crises Before General Elections, Akeredolu Tells APC

“In the course of my remarks, I did try to give assurances to our people that because of the new electoral regime that has been enthroned with the passage of the new Electoral Act, the way and manner we have been cheated in the past will no longer be the case because based on the provisions of the Electoral Act,” he said.

“We are now pretty much guaranteed a fair level of transparency in the process to the extent that most of the toxic votes that have emanated from a lot of places including but not limited to the local government of the sitting governor – Ika North East – a local government that has produced about 65,000, sometimes 73,000 votes in the past when we know that the actual voters there are not any more than 25,000.

“We are celebrating the passage of the Electoral Act because going forward, no vote will count unless that vote is a product of accreditation using the new advanced technology. And that was the message we tried to convey to our people that this time that their votes will count.”

The National Assembly on January 31 transmitted the bill to President Muhammadu Buhari who signed it into law on February 25.

Labour Day: Gbajabiamila Salutes Nigerian Workers, Promises Better Welfare

Gbajabiamila is asking political appointees to resign before seeking elective posts in the next polls.

 

The Speaker of the House of Representatives Rep. Femi Gbajabiamila has joined millions of Nigerians to salute the country’s workers on the celebration of this year’s International Workers’ Day.

Speaker Gbajabiamila, who commended the resilience, commitment and dedication of the Nigerian workers, said their efforts would never go in vain.

Read Also: Labour Rights Critical To Inclusive Development – NHRC

In a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Lanre Lasisi, Gbajabiamila said he was glad that the Nigerian workers have lived up to expectations over the years, noting that they remain the backbone of the Nigerian working force.

The Speaker said every well-meaning Nigerian must identify with the workers because of their invaluable contributions to nation-building.

He urged Nigerian workers to keep hope alive stating that governments at all levels as well as the private sector are trying to make life better for them.

Gbajabiamila said he was proud of the Nigerian workers because of the way they have been conducting themselves over the years.

Again, Women Storm NASS, Protest Rejection Of Gender Bills

Women gather at the NASS premises to resume their protest on gender inclusion in governance
Photos: Sodiq Adelakun/ChannelsTV

 

Women have once again arrived at the premises of the National Assembly for another round of protest.

The women had started their protest on Monday against the rejection of specific seats for women in the National Assembly, denial of women’s inability to take indigeneship of their husband’s state after five years of being together and 35% affirmative action for women.

However, members of the House of Representatives also on the same day rescinded their decision on three bills earlier rejected in the process of the 1999 constitution amendment.

The Senate is yet to make any concession to the demands of the protesters.

The women expressed their disappointment at the outcome despite having assurances from the leadership of the house on the bills while commending the House of Representatives for their decision.

The day’s protest tagged as 5/5 signifies the demand for the total acceptance of five of the 68 bills, which seeks to promote opportunities for women in politics, governance.

The first lady of Ekiti State, Bisi Fayemi, Incumbent Chairman/CEO of Nigerian in Diaspora Commission, Abike Dabiri and activist, Aisha Yesufu were some of the female dignitaries present at the protest.

Security operatives were seen at the premises of the National Assembly with the gates under lock.

See more photos of the protest below

Women Protest At NASS, Demand End To Discrimination In Leadership

Protesters gather for the 1million women march in Abuja at the gate of the national assembly to commemorate international women’s day and also to demand equal rights for women in political and administrative areas. Photos: Sodiq Adelakun

 

A large crowd of women from various walks of life have gathered at the National Assembly premises to protest the rejected gender bills.

The women are also protesting against the rejection of specific seats for women in the National Assembly. as well as denial of women’s inability to take indigeneship of their husband’s state after five years of being together

Earlier in the month, various women groups had occupied the gate of the National Assembly in protest against the rejection of women-related bills at plenary.

The lawmakers had rejected all women-related bills including the one seeking to give at least ten slots to women as ministers and commissioners in the federal and state governments failed at the upper legislative chamber.

The women expressed their disappointment at the outcome despite having assurances from the leadership of the house on the bills.

The groups gathered for the protest include the United Nations Population Fund (UNPF), Federation of Muslim Women Association (FOMWA), Women Organisation for Change in Agriculture and Natural Resource Management (WOCAN), Association of Women in the Arts (AWITA), Women In Business (WIMBIZ), Action Aid, Yiaga Africa, the Islamic Youth League, among others.

Gender equality was a central theme at the protest grounds as they joined their counterparts across the world to celebrate this year’s International Women’s Day (IWD).

Many of the protesters were seen holding chains depicting the repression they have suffered and they vowed to fight on util their right to rule the nation is rightly given to them.

 

See photos below of the protest 

 

Rejected Gender Bills: NASS Missed A Chance To Redesign Nigeria’s Political Landscape – Obaseki

The Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, has said that the National Assembly has missed a golden opportunity to redesign Nigeria’s political landscape by rejecting the gender bills.

The National Assembly on Tuesday rejected all women-related bills including the one seeking to give at least ten slots to women as ministers and commissioners in the federal and state governments.

Obaseki in his reaction on Thursday said the rejection of the bills is heartbreaking and regrettable.

READ ALSO: Reps’ Delegation Arrives Romania, Supervises Evacuation of Nigerians From Ukraine 

“It is heartbreaking that the National Assembly members missed a golden opportunity to redesign Nigeria’s political landscape by enshrining landmark legislation that promotes inclusion and provides women with the legal backing to gain equitable representation at the apex level of lawmaking and political participation.

“This is because the legislature is the bastion of democracy and a critical platform for fair representation and inclusion in government,” the governor said.

He added that it is painful and unconscionable that these bills which provide a fillip for accommodating women who make up more than 50% of the voting population, are subjected to such sorry fate.

He said: “In Edo State, we have a healthy mix of women in our cabinet, as they occupy more than 30 percent of positions of commissioners and Special Advisers in government.

“Edo people hope that their own representatives at the National Assembly did not vote along the lines of disenfranchising their women population because to do so will mean that they do not care about those who sent them to represent them at the Assembly.

“Our administration has continued to provide women with the opportunity to take up important roles in governance

Constitution Amendment: NASS Okays Autonomy For Local Governments

Screengrab from a video showing members of the House of Representatives voting electronically during the constitution amendment on Tuesday, March 1, 2022.

 

The National Assembly on Tuesday granted financial and administrative autonomy to all the local governments across Nigeria.

This was done when the lawmakers voted on 68 Constitution Amendment bills at their plenary. The voting was done electronically.

Both chambers of the National Assembly during voting on the Constitution Amendment voted in favour of Local Government administrative autonomy as a tier of government and guarantee their democratic existence and tenure.

In the House of Representatives, the bill to create a special account through which funds for local governments will be paid directly from the Federation Account had 257 ‘YES’ votes while nine persons voted ‘NO.’

For the local government autonomy, 258 members of the House of representatives voted ‘YES’ while 15 voted ‘NO’.

In the Senate Chamber, Local government financial autonomy had 92 ‘YES’ votes and two ‘NO’ votes.

Also in the Senate Chamber, local government autonomy, had 258 ‘YES’ votes and 15 ‘NO’ votes.

Local government administrative autonomy had 88 ‘YES’ votes, four ‘NO’ votes.

The National Assembly made this vote less than 24 hours after the leadership of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) led a protest to the National Assembly, to demand overwhelming votes in favour of autonomy for the local government and the judiciary.

Electoral Bill: What Buhari Gives With The Right, He’ll Take With His Left – Galadima

A file photo of Buba Galadima.

 

Former National Secretary of the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) Change (CPC), Buba Galadima, believes President Muhammadu Buhari will not sign the amended electoral bill which currently awaits his assent.

Galadima, who was a guest on Channels Television’s Politics Today on Wednesday, said Nigerians and the National Assembly should not be deceived into believing that what will be assented to is in the citizen’s best interest. According to the elder statesman, if Buhari “signs any electoral bill with reservations, it means he has not signed the electoral bill”.

“This bill before Buhari contains the views of the representatives of the people; he has no choice,” Galadima said during the current affairs show.

READ ALSOAisha Buhari Attends Plenary At National Assembly

The former spokesman for the presidential campaign council of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), said Buhari proved him right by not signing the bill when it was earlier sent. He added that the only reason the president is now willing to sign the bill is that the press and civil society organizations are mounting pressure on him. Be that as it may, Galadima believes that the presidency is playing some tricks.

“They are doing a kind of 419, he will sign the bill and send a list of things he doesn’t like which will secretly be passed for him and we are in it. There will be no change even if he signs because what he gives us with the right hand, he will take from us with the left,” he said.

“For you, he has assented to the amended 2010 Electoral Act but in the real sense of it, he will take whatever gains the people had put into the electoral act.”

Galadima’s comments come a few hours after the signing of the re-worked Electoral Act Amendment Bill scheduled for Wednesday was moved to Friday, February 25. A source close to the Presidency, who had earlier indicated that the President would assent to the bill on Wednesday, confirmed the new date to Channels Television. According to the source, the new date will be honoured by the President.

On January 25, lawmakers in the Senate and House of Representatives chambers of the National Assembly passed the harmonised version of the bill. The harmonised version was received by President Buhari a week later, as confirmed by his Senior Special Assistant on NASS Matters (Senate), Senator Babajide Omoworare.

He withheld his assent to the bill in November 2021, citing the cost of conducting direct primary elections, security challenges, and possible manipulation of electoral processes by political players as part of the reasons for his decision.

But the President gave some conditions to give his assent – an action that prompted the lawmakers to re-work the bill, leading to the emergence of two versions in the green and red chambers. The House had re-amended the bill to include the direct and indirect primary options while the Senate re-adjusted it to include the direct, indirect, and consensus modes of selecting political parties’ candidates.

Both chambers later passed the harmonised version – the final agreed version of the amendment to Clause 84 which included the direct, indirect, and consensus primary modes. Amid an outcry from critics, who raised concerns about the delayed signing over fears that the President might reject the bill again, a presidential aide, Femi Adesina, said his principal’s action was within the requirements of the law.

He stated that it would only be appropriate to say President Buhari has acted against the law if he exceeds the 30-day window provided by the Constitution to take a decision on the bill.

Buhari Earmarks N2.5tn For Subsidy In Supplementary Budget Proposal To NASS

A combination of photos of President Muhammadu Buhari and the National Assembly complex in Abuja.

 

President Muhammadu Buhari has submitted the 2022 Appropriation Act amendment proposal to the National Assembly.

In the amendment proposal, the President earmarked the sum of N2.557 trillion for fuel subsidy.

The amendment proposal is contained in a six-page letter sent to the House on Tuesday.

In the letter, President Buhari is asking the National Assembly to approve the sum of N2.557 trillion supplementary budget for petrol subsidy from July to December 2022.

Senate President Ahmad Lawan and Speaker of the House of Representatives Femi Gbajabiamila read the letter in their respective chambers.

READ ALSO: Northern Youths Kick Against Atiku’s Presidential Ambition, Demand Power Shift To South

In the letter, President Muhammadu Buhari said the amendment is necessary to accommodate some issues in the country including Petroleum Subsidy which must be considered.

He is also asking the National Assembly to review the Finance Act 2021.

Accordingly, President Muhammadu Buhari in the letter said it was imperative to remove all capital projects that were replicated on the 2022 Appropriation Act.

The Senate in December passed the 2022 budget of N17.126 trillion, jerking the appropriation bill by N735.8 billion.

 

Read the full letter written by the President to the NASS below…

The full text of the letter entitled, “SUBMISSION OF THE 2022 APPROPRIATION AMENDMENT PROPOSAL”, reads:

“As l indicated at the signing of the 2022 Appropriation Act, I forward herewith the Proposals for the amendment of the 2022 Appropriation Act (as detailed in Schedules I-V), for the kind consideration and approval by the Senate.

“Let me seize this opportunity to once again express my deep gratitude to the leadership and members of the Senate for the expeditious consideration and passage of the 2022 Appropriation Bill as well as the enabling 2021 Finance Bill.

“It has become necessary to present this amendment proposal considering the impacts of the recent suspension of the Petroleum Motor Spirit (PMS) subsidy removal and the adverse implications that some changes made by the National

Assembly in the 2022 Appropriation Act could have for the successful implementation of the budget.

“It is important to restore the provisions made for various key capital projects in the 2022 Executive Proposal (see details in Schedule l) that were cut by the National Assembly.  This is to ensure that critical ongoing projects that are cardinal to this administration, and those nearing completion, do not suffer a setback due to reduced funding.

“It is equally important to reinstate the N25.81 billion cut from the provision for the Power Sector Reform Programme in order to meet the Federal Government’s commitment under the financing plan agreed with the World Bank.

“In addition, it is necessary to reinstate the four (4) capital projects totaling N1.42 billion in the Executive Proposal for the Federal Ministry of Water Resources that were removed in the 2022 Appropriation Act.

“Furthermore, there is critical and urgent need to restore the N3 billion cut from the provision made for payment of mostly long outstanding Local Contractors’ Debts and Other Liabilities as part of our strategy to reflate the economy and spur growth (see Schedule I).

“You will agree with me that the inclusion of National Assembly’s expenditures in the Executive Budget negates the principles of separation of Powers and financial autonomy of the Legislature. It is therefore necessary to transfer the National Assembly’s expenditures totaling N16.59 billion in the Service Wide Vote to the National Assembly Statutory Transfer provision (see Schedule l).

“It is also imperative to reinstate the N22.0 billion cut from the provision for Sinking Fund to Retire Mature Loans to ensure that government can meet its obligations under already issued bonds as and when they mature.

“The cuts made from provisions for the recurrent spending of Nigeria’s Foreign Missions, which are already constrained, are capable of causing serious embarrassment to the country as they mostly relate to office and residential rentals.

“Similarly, the reductions in provisions for allowances payable to personnel of the Nigerian Navy and Police Formations and Commands could create serious issues for government. It is therefore imperative that these provisions be restored as proposed (see Schedule II).

“It is also absolutely necessary to remove all capital projects is that replicated in the 2022 Appropriation Act; 139 out of the 254 such projects totaling N13.24 billion have been identified to be deleted from the budget.

“Some significant and non-mandate projects were introduced in the budgets of the Ministry of Transportation, Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation and Office of the Head of Civil Service of the Federation (see Schedule III). There are several other projects that have been included by the National Assembly in the budgets of agencies that are outside their mandate areas. The Ministry of Finance, Budget, and National Planning has been directed to work with your relevant Committees to comprehensively identify and realign all such misplaced projects.

“It is also necessary to restore the title /descriptions of 32 projects in the Appropriation Act to the titles contained in the Executive Proposal for the Ministry of Water Resources (see Schedule IV) in furtherance of our efforts to complete and put to use critical agenda projects.

“The Appropriation Amendment request is for a total sum of N106,161,499,052 (One hundred and six billion, one hundred and sixty-one million, four hundred and ninety-nine thousand, and fifty-two Naira only) for Capital Expenditures and N43,870,592,044 (Forty-three billion, eight hundred and seventy million, five hundred and ninety-two thousand, and forty-four Naira only) for Recurrent Expenditures. I, therefore, request the National Assembly to make the above amendments without increasing the budget deficit. I urge you to roll back some of the N887.99 billion of projects earlier inserted in the budget by the National Assembly to accommodate these amendments.

“However, following the suspension of the PMS subsidy removal, the 2022 Budget Framework has been revised to fully provide for PMS subsidy (see Schedule V). An additional provision of N2.557 trillion will be required to fund the petrol subsidy in 2022. Consequently, the Federation ACCOunt (Main Pool) revenue for the three tiers of government is projected to decline by N2.00 trillion, while FGN’s share from the Account is projected to reduce by N1.05 trillion. Therefore, the amount available to fund the FGN Budget is projected to decline by N969.09 billion.

“Aggregate expenditure is projected to increase by N45.85 billion, due to additional domestic debt service provision of N102.5 billion net of the reductions in Statutory Transfers by N56.67 billion, as follows: NDDC, by N12.61 billion from N102.78 billion to N90.18 billion; NEDC, by N5.90 billion from N48.08 billion to N42.18 billion; UBEC, by N19.08 billion from N112.29 billion to N93.21 billion; Basic Health Care Fund, byN 9.54 billion from N56.14 billion to N46.60 billion; and NASENI, by N9.54 billion from N56.14 billion to N46.60 billion.

“Total budget deficit is projected to increase by N1.01 trillion to N7.40 trillion, representing 4.01% of GDP. The incremental deficit will be financed by new borrowings from the domestic market.

“Equally, it is imperative that Clause 10 of the 2022 Appropriation Act which stipulates that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) are authorized to charge and defray from all money standing in credit to the units as revenues, penalties or sanctions at 10% for the technical setup and operational cost at the units in this financial year be repealed.

“This clause is in conflict with the Act establishing these Agencies, as well as some other laws and financial regulations of the government. These are neither Revenue Generating Agencies nor Regulatory Bodies that generate revenue or charge penalty fees. They are fully funded (Personnel, Overhead, and Capital) by Government through Budgetary provisions.

“The Fiscal Responsibility Act 2007, as well as the Finance Act 2021, require these Agencies to remit fully any recovered funds to the Consolidated Revenue Fund (CRF). This clause may lay dangerous precedence, and spark clamours for similar treatment by other anti-corruption agencies.

“Also, Clause 11 stipulates that “Notwithstanding the provisions of any other law in force, Nigerian Embassies and Missions are authorised to expend funds allocated to them under the Capital components without having to seek approval of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs” should likewise be repealed. It too is inconsistent with extant Financial Regulations and the Public Procurement Act, which set thresholds for approving officers and Parastatal / Ministerial Tenders Boards for awards of Contracts for the procurement of goods and Services. This also amounts to an intrusion of the Legislature into what is an executive function.

“Given the urgency of the request for amendments, I I seek the cooperation of the National Assembly for expeditious legislative action on the 2022 Appropriation Amendment Proposal in order to sustain the gains of an early passage of the budget.

“Please accept, Distinguished Senate President, the assurances of my highest consideration.”

 

 

PDP Lawmakers Ask Buhari To Sign Amended Electoral Bill

Buhari Rejects Ajaokuta Steel Company Bill, Seven Others
A combination of photos of President Muhammadu Buhari and the National Assembly complex in Abuja.

 

The National Assembly Caucus of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has called on President Buhari to sign the amended Electoral Act Bill into law without delay.

The group made the call on Tuesday during its meeting with members of the party’s Board of Trustees at the National Assembly.

Senate Minority Leader, Enyinnaya Abaribe, said having bent backward as requested by President Buhari on the earlier rejected electoral bill, the amended bill should be signed without delay.

READ ALSO: NASS Transmits Re-Amended Electoral Bill To Buhari For Assent

The Minority Leader of the House of Representatives, Ndudi Elumelu, however, alleged that governors from the ruling All Progressives Congress are lobbying President Buhari not to sign the bill.

He warned that the PDP will resist this plan because of the very important provisions in the bill, particularly section 52 which deals with electronic transmission of results.

This is coming 24 hours after the National Assembly transmitted the bill to the President for assent.

Last week, lawmakers in the Senate and House of Representatives passed a harmonised version of the bill.

President Buhari had withheld his assent to the bill in November last year, citing a lack of alternatives to direct primaries in the bill.

According to the President, direct primaries are expensive to conduct and may lead to manipulation of electoral processes.

The lawmakers have since included indirect and consensus modes for choosing party candidates.

NASS Transmits Re-Amended Electoral Bill To Buhari For Assent

A combination of photos of President Muhammadu Buhari and the National Assembly complex in Abuja.

 

The National Assembly has transmitted the re-amended Electoral Act Amendment Bill to President Muhammadu Buhari for assent.

President Buhari’s Senior Special Assistant on NASS Matters (Senate), Senator Babajide Omoworare, disclosed this in a statement on Monday.

He explained that the transmission of the bill was in line with the provisions of Section 58 (3) of the 1999 Constitution and the Acts Authentication Act Cap. A2 LFN 2004.

Omoworare stated that the Clerk to the National Assembly, Olatunde Ojo, transmitted the authenticated copies of the bill to the President on Monday.

“The Clerk to the National Assembly Mr Olatunde Amos Ojo has transmitted the authenticated copies of the Electoral Bill 2022 to the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria Muhammadu Buhari GCFR on 31st January 2022,” he said.

“This was done in accordance with the provisions of Section 58 (3) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) and the Acts Authentication Act Cap. A2 LFN 2004.

“Mr. President had withheld assent to the Electoral Bill 2021 transmitted to him on 19th November 2021. The Electoral Bill was thereafter reworked by the National Assembly and both the Senate and the House of Representatives passed same on 25th January 2022.”

READ ALSO: I Will Sign Electoral Bill If NASS Includes Consensus Candidates, Indirect Primaries – Buhari

This comes a week after lawmakers in the Senate and House of Representatives passed the harmonised version of the bill.

President Buhari had withheld his assent to the bill in November last year, citing the cost of conducting direct primary elections, security challenges, and possible manipulation of electoral processes by political actors as part of the reasons for his decision.

While he gave the conditions to give his assent, the lawmakers went on to rework the bill which initially led to the emergence of two versions from the green and red chambers of the assembly.

While the House re-amended the bill to include the direct and indirect primary options, the Senate re-adjusted to include the direct, indirect, and consensus modes of selecting political parties’ candidates.

On Tuesday last week, lawmakers in the two chambers passed the harmonised version of the Electoral Act Amendment Bill – the final agreed version of the amendment to Clause 84 of the bill.

This bill included the direct, indirect, and consensus primary modes of nominating candidates by political parties for elections.

NASS’ Process Of Deciding On Direct Primary Not Painstaking Enough – Sen Na’Allah

The lawmaker representing Kebbi South Senatorial District, Senator Bala Na’Allah is of the opinion that the National Assembly’s process of earlier deciding on Direct Primaries, was not painstaking enough.

According to Senator Na’Allah, it is the failure to be very meticulous on the matter, that warranted the parliament to rescind its decision in such a very short period of time.

Speaking as a guest on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily, the lawmaker argued that if honestly, the lawmakers were very thorough as regards the decision they made, it would not take an individual to make over 400 parliamentarians change their minds so quickly.

“If we have 109 senators and we have 360 members of the House of Representatives painstakingly going through a process to arrive at a decision and we have the executive where there is only one person elected, declining assent to that decision, two things will show here.

Kebbi South Senatorial District, Senator Bala Na’Allah

 

“One, that maybe the National Assembly did not painstakingly go through the process because if they did honestly, they may not have arrived at the decision where one head became better than almost 500 and something people,” he contended.

He further explained “It is astonishing that 109 senators and 360 members will sit down and make a decision and within no time come back and say we’re reversing ourselves. It means the process that led us to arrive at that decision was not painstaking enough.

“Yeah, it wasn’t painstaking enough. If it were, I’m absolutely sure there’s no how all of us can reverse ourselves in a very dramatic manner.

“The point I am trying to make is that in whatever position you find yourself, you must be extremely careful when you are making a decision that is going to affect the Nigerian nation, and in doing so, that’s why our oath of office has always insisted never ever allow personal interests to affect your official decision and conduct, it’s in the oath of office”.

Senator Na’Allah advised that in the future, in order to develop the nation’s democracy, those who have been elected and who have sworn to an oath of office should try as much as they can to live within the confines of the oath which they have taken.

He urged lawmakers and those at the helm of affairs to avoid situations that are dramatic and as embarrassing as the situation that the current Assembly has found itself.

Buttressing his earlier position, the lawmaker argued that “if the process had been painstaking enough and there was commitment and honesty in the process that led to the decision made, then, I am absolutely sure it will provide a corresponding commitment to override Mr. president on that matter”.

He maintained that the National Assembly is not being tele-guided, and debunked claims suggesting that the parliament is a rubber stamp Assembly.

Adding that on the electoral bill issue, what was missing was a robust debate and a democratic opinion collation process.