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2023: CSO set timelines for Buhari, NASS to make electoral bill 2021 a law

A civil society group led by Yiaga Africa has given president Muhammadu Buhari and the national assembly January ultimatum to electoral bill 2021 a law.


A civil society group led by Yiaga Africa has given President Muhammadu Buhari and the national assembly a January ultimatum to electoral bill 2021 a law.

At a press conference in Abuja on Monday hosted by Yiaga, the group said it’s imperative for the bill to be assented to by the president for the conduct of the 2023 general elections.

The group said Nigerians have decided through a town hall meeting held on Sunday in Abuja that the bill must become a law to be used for the 2023 elections.

The group opined that the provisions for direct primaries should be stepped down for future determination while noting that the bill should be fine-tuned by the National Assembly; correct all errors and remove the provisions for direct primaries and retransmit to the president within two weeks.

The group explained that four resolutions were made at the citizens’ town hall meeting to include; a new legal framework is central to the integrity of future elections and the advancement of Nigeria’s democracy; the provisions of the Electoral Bill 2021substantially reflect the wishes of Nigerians and key electoral stakeholders for a legal framework that promotes the use of technology to stem electoral manipulation, strengthens INEC’s financial independence, and empower the commission to reject falsified election results or results declared under duress.

Other key resolutions include; further delay to the conclusion of the electoral amendment is inimical to the preparations for Ekiti, Osun and 2023 elections; and with 398 days to the 2023 election, it is crucial for the National Assembly and the President to conclude the electoral amendment process by January 31, 2022. The National Assembly should therefore remove the contentious clause of direct primaries, resolve all identified drafting errors and cross-referencing gaps and re-transmit the bill to the president for assent within a week of resumption.

The group urged Nigerians, media, and development partners to sustain efforts at safeguarding the Electoral Bill from policy capture, manipulation and subversion of the people’s will.

The group comprises of Yiaga Africa, International Press Centre (IPC); Centre for Citizens with Disability (CCD); The Albino Foundation; CLEEN Foundation; Institute for Media and Society (IMS,); Nigerian Women Trust Fund (NWTF); Premium Times Centre for Investigative Journalism (PTCIJ); Partners for Electoral Reforms (PER); Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC); Women Advocates Research and Documentation Centre (WARDC); and Nigerian Network of Non-Governmental Organizations (NNNGO).

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