As Nigerians await President Muhammadu Buhari’s assent to the Electoral Act Amendment Bill, the presidency says he will take action that is in the overall interest of the masses.
The National Assembly had on November 19 transmitted the bill to President Buhari for assent in pursuance of Section 58 (3) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended and the Acts Authentication Act 2004.
However, the President is yet to sign the bill into law, four weeks after the Senate and the House of Representatives passed the Electoral Act Amendment Bill and approved the electronic transmission of results.
Speaking during an interview on Channels Television’s Politics Today, the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, said his principal is currently consulting with all stakeholders, including the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) before making his position known on the issue.
While noting that his principal cannot be preempted, Adesina noted that the President would decide on the pending bill at the appropriate time.
“The President is consulting, he has to consult with all the stakeholders and then arrive at a position that is best for the country,” he stated.
“Part of that consultation was the communication with INEC and there are other stakeholders that have also been reached for positions and counsel on that. At the end of the day, Mr. President would aggregate all of it and what is best for the country is what he will do.”
Although he didn’t specify a timeframe, the presidential spokesman explained that the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami is being carried along by the President as far as the bill is concerned.
When asked if the President would sign the bill or reject the document, Adesina did not reply in the affirmative or negative.
Rather, he stated that his principal who is there to ensure that processes are enhanced in the country, believes that the new law would boost the nation’s electoral process, hence would look at the bill very critically.