The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has asked President Muhamadu Buhari to assent to the Amended Electoral Act to give proper direction for the 2019 elections. Sen. Ighoyota Amori, the Political Adviser to the National Chairman of PDP, gave the advice in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday in Abuja.
The constitution allows a 30-day deadline for action on a bill pending before the President. Buhari had received the amamebdment bill on August 2 and if he fails to sign it into law or return it to the National Assembly between now and Sunday September 2, the parliament may override him. Reacting, Amori said: “It is just months to the elections; how will the political parties and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) be guided in the elections?
“Till date, the issue of card reader has not been resolved. The Bill, if signed, would have guided the political parties and INEC to prepare for the election.” He said that there was limit to the level at which voter education could be done as the Bill on the law to guide the process was yet to be signed.
“All that is being done now is telling people to get their Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) but nobody knows the extent at which card reader will be used because the amended Electoral Act has not been signed. “Nobody knows if the bill will be passed or not, or if the president will issue his own guidelines. “All we know right now is that there is a bill that has been passed and it is before the President. Until he signs it the electorate will not know the content. “The act of presenting the budget late, especially when the National Assembly was due to go on its annual recess is unjustifiable.
“If INEC is to conduct elections in 2019, we are now in August and we are still talking about the budget presentation that INEC submitted to the executive since February. “We cannot blame the commission for that because INEC was proactive and its timetable has not changed.”