Amalgamated Atiku Support Group (AASG) has dared the National Assembly to override President Muhammadu Buhari on the Electoral Act Amendment Bill, to show the legislature is not a rubber stamp in the hand of the executive arm of government.
It also has called out President Muhammadu Buhari for not being patriotic over his refusal to sign the Electoral Act Amendment Bill, for the forth time, in the life of his Government.
This was contained in a statement signed by Olusegun ‘Pelumi-Olukoga, Acting National Director, Media & Publicity of AASG.
The group maintained that his reasons are not promoting National and Nigerians collective interests, stressing that, the refusal will not promote practical innovations and processes that will improve the credibility of the country’s electioneering activities.
It reads partly “Assenting the bill would have prompted new dawn in the nation’s democratic process particularly nomination of political party candidates but is not to be, as we believe it is an attempt to rob the system as well as rig the 2023 general elections, which will fail.
“AASG is expecting to see where the loyalty of the National Assembly swings at this critical time, as it is expedient to change the public narrative of being a “rubber stamp” assembly to the executive arm of government led by President Buhari.
“We find it difficult to draw conclusion on why Mr. President rejected a widely accepted bill while Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, and many Nigerians have already given support to the bill, to what they believe will bring about the growth of democracy anchored on a free and fair electoral system.
“The President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, also in a lecture at the National Defence College in February 2021, stated that, the act could foster significant reduction in electoral violence. All these and many more benefits could have made the President to assent to the bill rather than alleged impracticability of using only direct primaries as the nomination vehicle of candidates, the high cost of adoption of that mode, security challenges of monitoring elections, likely litigations and possible manipulations given excuses to justify the rejection of the direct primaries formula.
“And since Mr. Lawan recently said the National Assembly is not a “rubber stamp” assembly, the time to prove that is now by asserting its legislative independence.
“AASG maintained that, the National Assembly must now debate whether President Buhari’s input on the act should be overridden or not, they may also consider removing the direct primaries clause they want to use as “smokescreen” not to sign the new electoral bill into law in the overall national interest.”