Nigerian Senate Leader, Ahmed Lawan on Friday said that President Muhammadu Buhari was still studying the much clamoured for 2018 Electoral Act Amendment bill into law.
Buhari had earlier withheld his assent to the document about three times due to ‘errors’ in the amended bill presented by the National Assembly.
The latest version was thereafter submitted to the president which he is yet to comment on or give assent to.
Speaking with State House correspondents after Jumaat prayer at the Presidential Villa in Abuja, Lawan said he believes the president was taking his time to study the document to avoid errors.
“The President is willing to sign the bill provided it meets certain conditions that will make our electoral processes better. I believe the President is studying this bill,” Lawan said.
The lawmaker representing Yobe North constituency stated that the amended 2006 Electoral Act can still be used for the 2019 general elections.
He opined that the 2006 Electoral Act can even deliver a more transparent, free and fair elections in 2019 than what was experienced in 2015.
According to him, President Muhammadu Buhari has signed more bills than any previous president in this country. But Lawan’s colleague in the Senate, Dino Melaye, once said the president had turned more bills down than any president Nigeria has had.
With the 2019 general elections fast approaching, it is feared that the 2018 Electoral Act Amendment bill may not meet the stipulated time for implementation if not urgently signed into law by the president.
Presidential candidate of Allied Congress Party of Nigeria (ACPN), Obiageli Ezekwesili, said the president was afraid of signing the bill which mandates that only electronic card readers would be used to record and collate votes during the elections.
“I made clear that Nigeria president Buhari must urgently sign the INEC 2018 Amendment Bill so that he does not jeopardize the 2019 Elections,” Ezekwesili said.
“I promised a DAILY DEMAND on the President to #JustSignINEC2018BillNOW! It baffles me why he is AFRAID OF CARD READER,” Ezekwesili said.
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