Electoral Act: PDP commends Buhari, NASS – Nexus News

The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP felicitated with Nigerians, particularly civil society organizations for fighting on the side of the PDP in mounting pressure on President Muhammadu Buhari to finally approve the Electoral Act Amendment Bill yesterday.

The party in a press release signed by its spokesman, Debo Ologunagba applauded the courage of PDP and other opposition members in the National Assembly for standing their ground on the approval of the Electoral Act Amendment Bill which among other things provides for the electronic transmission of election results directly from the polling units.

The press release read: “The newly signed Electoral Act is a death knell for the All Progressives Congress, APC, which thrives in manipulations, ballot box snatching, ballot box stuffing and alteration of election results at the collation centers against the expressed Will of the people.

“It is clear that President Buhari and the deflated APC had come to their wits end and bowed to the sustained pressure by the PDP and Nigerians for the entrenchment of processes that can guarantee free, fair, transparent and credible elections in 2023.

“The victory by Nigerians in resisting the APC and compelling President Buhari to sign the new Electoral Act clearly signposts the inevitable triumph of the Will and aspiration of the people to kick out the APC through a process that ensures that votes cast at the polling units count.

“The PDP calls on Nigerians not to rest on their oars but to further strengthen their resolve by rallying themselves to take charge of their polling units and ensure that their votes are transparently counted and transmitted in the 2023 general elections.

“Nigerians must note that the APC in its desperation will not give up easily but attempt to device other means to frustrate credible elections in the country.

“Our Party therefore charges Nigerians and the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to be at alert and resist all shenanigans of the APC ahead of the 2023 elections.

“While commending the international community for standing on the side of democracy in Nigeria, the PDP counsels President Buhari to further redeem his image by reining in his party members who are reportedly seeking to deploy the instrumentality of violence to frustrate the efforts for free, fair and credible elections in 2023.”

Also, ex Vice President, Atiku Abubakar has commended President Muhammadu Buhari’s assent to the Electoral Act Amendment Bill, stating that it would make conduct of the 2023 general elections less challenging.

“Now that the legal framework for the 2023 elections is in place following President Muhammadu Buhari’s assent to the Electoral Bill, the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, needs to roll-out the election guidelines in earnest so that the political parties and Nigerians can fully commence the journey to choose their leaders in 2023.

“I wish to acknowledge the work of the legislature in bringing this law with new innovations into fruition. I also pay tribute to the nudge of the civil society and patriotic Nigerians in making this brand new Electoral Act a reality.” Atiku wrote on his verified twitter handle.

Atiku Abubakar

Also reacting, immediate past Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, Friday, commended President Muhammadu Buhari for finally signing the Electoral Act Amendment) Bill 2022 into law while also applauding the National Assembly, Civil Society Organisations and other Nigerians for emphasizing on a new electoral law ahead of the 2023 general elections.

Saraki gave the applaud in a communique signed by his media adviser, Yusuf Olaniyonu.

While praising President Buhari for finally approving the new law, Saraki noted that civil society organizations deserve more applause “who for the past one year, kept up the pressure and continuously agitated for the passage of the new Electoral Act.”

The statement read: “Let me specifically commend the effort of CSOs like Adopt A Goal Initiative, Raising New Voices Initiative, Human Rights Advocate, One Love Foundation, To Build The Nation Civil Society, YIAGA Africa, International Press Centre, IPC, Centre for Citizens With Disability, CDD, Albino Foundation, CLEEN Foundation, Institute for Media and Society, IMS, Nigerian Women Trust Fund, NWTF, Human Rights Advocate, Ready to Lead Africa and Premium Times Centre for Investigative Journalism, PTCI, among many others. They have kept the issue of the passage of the Electoral Act on the front burner for the past year. They were unrelenting and with the passage of the law, they deserve to be specially commended. We hope they will continue this good work on other key issues that are very important to the development of our dear country.

“The youths in these CSOs have yet again proved that they can accomplish any task of nation-building if they set their minds to it. Their persistence, positive energy, and constructive agitation have contradicted any claim that Nigerian youths are lazy. Rather, the youths of today are reminding us of the role their forebears in the nationalist struggle of the pre-independence era, particularly, the National Youth Movement, NYM, played in bringing an end to colonial rule.

“I enjoin these youths in the CSOs to take their efforts to another level. That is the level of mobilizing their numerous colleagues to go and register to vote in the coming general elections. The new law provides an opportunity for all Nigerians of age 18 and above to be part of the efforts to build a better future for our country. They have the chance to have their voices heard loudly. We can all choose a better way and a better future. If we want a fresh start, if we want a new direction for Nigeria, we all have to vote for it.

“The new Electoral Act brings us closer to having free, fair, and peaceful elections in which people’s votes count, where the majority will have their way and the minority will have their say. For too long, the old electoral law had been part of the problem. We can now seek to elect our leaders having in mind the current challenges facing our country.

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“With a new Electoral Act, we can move on to debating real solutions to the problems of insecurity, creation of jobs, strengthening of the economy, cementing national unity and building a better future for all Nigerians.”

Saraki withcalled the various efforts the 8th National Assembly he presided made to give the country a new Electoral Act which led to their submitting the Bill four different times which failed to get Presidential approval.

“That is why it is with great joy that I welcome the news that the country finally has a new electoral act. It is better late than never,” he added.

ALSO, the Inter-Party Advisory Council, IPAC, has praised President Buhari for accepting the counsel of Nigerians by signing into law the Electoral Act Amendment Bill.

IPAC National Chairman, Yabagi Sani in an interview with newsmen on Friday, portrayed the President’s assent as sign of good things to come.

“We commended the president for signing the bill into law. This is long over due. We believe the President has done us proud to have a new electoral law Nigerians will be proud of.

He noted that IPAC believe that approving the bill into law would limit some of the challenges facing the conduct of elections in the country, such as stealing of ballot boxes, electoral and violence given that election results would be conveyed electronically.

Sani added that the council also back the call on the National Assembly by the President to review Section 84 (12) which subdue serving political office holders to leave office more than 30 days before they can vote or be voted for at conventions or congresses of any political party, for the purpose of the nomination of candidates for any election.

He implored the National Assembly to quickly do the amendment as demanded by President Bihari.

Sani also implored the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to immediately commence the adoption of the new Act for the preparations of the 2023 general elections.

“I believe that INEC is happy that they have a better law they can work with.

“The commission can now go ahead and release the timetable and guidelines for 2023 general elections because there is no much time to be wasted,” Sani added.

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