Abubakar Malami, attorney-general of the federation (AGF), says the electoral amendment bill was rejected by the President because he found some of its provisions unsustainable.
The AGF spoke during a phone-in programme on Radio Kano, he said the bill is discriminatory as the legislators only considered the political gains and not the interest of all Nigerians.
“What you should understand about (the) leadership of the country most especially as it regards President Muhammadu Buhari on any law presented to him for signing, the president is entitled to certain rights,” argued Mr Malami. ”If you are talking about security, there is also what is expected from him. The president has to consider laws that are sustainable.”
The president had declined assent to the bill, citing violation of rights, costly direct primaries for parties in what he described as the “violation of the spirit of democracy”.
Mr Malami said the job of the president include politics, economy, business, security, legislation, politicians, and non-politicians,”
”This is because the leadership of the country is not for the politicians alone, it is a leadership that affects the social life of the people, their religion, economy, security, and others.
”He is after satisfying the interest of the over 200 million Nigerians he is serving and not a particular sector.
”Today INEC requires N305 billion for the 2022 general elections. Now if the general election, which is not the newly proposed electoral system, will cost this much, how much will it cost to do the same election in the APC? It might cost at least N200 billion because it will involve everyone.”, the AGF said.
”Although the good side of the law is that INEC is required to monitor it.
He added, “Now if the general election, which is not the newly proposed electoral system, will cost this much, how much will it cost to do the same election in the APC? It might cost at least N200 billion because it will involve everyone.”
He reasoned further that “it is assumed that every political party will spend N200 billion, how much will then be spent in conducting the same primary election in 18 political parties just to produce a qualified candidate?”
He maintained that “all the people want are good projects; the good road from Abuja to Kano, portable drinking water, good education, school feeding programme,” among other social amenities.
“Are you fair to the 160 million Nigerians using their wealth just to conduct (a) primary election to produce a party candidate, despite other demands by the public?” Mr Malami argued. “My answer to this is that to spend this N305 billion that will be given to the INEC and the about N200 billion to be given to the political parties is not fair to the remaining 160 million Nigerians who have no business about politics and political appointments. Their business is just a better life in Nigeria.”
“This is the issue of cost implications.”, the minister stated.