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2023: Buhari rejects Electoral Bill

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...Cites ‘prohibitive’ cost of conducting direct primaries

 PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari has returned the Electoral Act (Amendment) Bill to National Assembly.

  Sources say the bill was returned to Senate and the House of Representatives in a letter addressed to the two principal officers from Presidency.

  Citing prohibitive cost of conducting direct primaries which is a provision inserted in the bill by National Assembly in apparent effort to checkmate influence of state governors in primary election processes, President Buhari said Nigeria cannot afford about N500 billion the exercise may cost Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

  According to the source, President Buhari took the position after he had met with INEC Chairman, Professor Yakubu Mahmoud, who briefed him on the dangers the law posed to the conduct of elections in the coming months, if assented as passed by NASS.

  Senate President, Ahmad Lawan and Speaker of House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, are expected to read the president’s letter when the two chambers reconvene next week.

  It will be recalled that for over two weeks, governors elected on the platform of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) had mounted pressure on President Buhari not to sign the Electoral Act (Amendment) Bill into law until all grey areas were resolved. Many of the governors, who are at loggerheads with senators and members of the House of Representatives from their various states, had insisted that the National Assembly must yank off indirect primaries from the Electoral Act.

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