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Group tells NASS to veto Buhari on Electoral Reform Bill

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The Organization for Community Civic Engagement (OCCEN) has said that the National Assembly must veto the Electoral Reform Bill 2021 if President Muhammadu Buhari refuses to sign it, threatening to go to court if the assembly does not act.

The group accused Buhari of applying delay tactics in signing the Bill just as he did in 2019 which compelled the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to use the 2010 Electoral Act in the conduct of the election, despite its deficiencies.

Speaking to newsmen in Kano, Monday, the Executive Director of OCCEN, AbduRazak Alkali, said, “the National Assembly has done a wonderful job and this is the first time that the legislature, the CSOs and the generalities of Nigerians are on the same page.

“Unfortunately, with two weeks left until deadlines, the President is yet to assent on the Bill and has been foot-dragging and unjustifiably delaying on the Bill, this should be worrying to every Nigerian because it appears the President is listening and giving priorities to some powerful and selfish categories of politicians”.

He continued, “sadly, this issue is taking a similar approach to how the President behaved pre 2019 elections which made INEC to use the 2010 Electoral Act despite all deficiencies in the Law”.

He said the President needs to do away with the selfish interests of some Nigerian politicians and focus on what is in the best interests of Nigeria and its citizens.

The director of the civil society said it is very clear to all peace-loving Nigerians that the conduct of the party elections through direct primaries in Nigeria remains the most transparent mode of nominating candidates.

“While the current system of indirect primaries has handicapped women and youths from achieving their political leadership, the direct primaries would surely give them that chances and opportunities,” he said.

Alkali urged the President to demonstrate courage and good leadership to uphold democracy, “We understand that the President has written to the INEC seeking advice, we think this is yet another tactic by the Presidency to reject the Bill.

“The President should understand that history would never forgive him if he refuses to assent to the Bill, while favouring interests of the selfish few”.

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Politics

Tinubu makes promises if elected President

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One of the Presidential aspirants under the All Progressives Congress, Bola Tinubu, has stated one of the things he would do if elected President come 2023.

Tinubu has said that his administration would pay the West African Senior School Certificate Examinations for Nigerian students, no matter their background.

He said this while addressing some women chieftains of the APC, in a video published by GistReel.

He said, “Your children’s West African examination fees will be paid by us, so that no one, no matter how poor, will be left behind.”

The former Governor of Lagos State also stated his intention to stabilise the country adding that he was in the race to break the shackles of poverty in the country.

Tinubu also advised the women to remain in the APC and support it stating that it is a progressing party.

“The symbol of our party is a broom. The symbol of my cap is breaking shackles. You break the shackles of ignorance, poverty, and many things.

“We need stability in the country. We need peace and the stoppage of banditry is extremely important because women are the vulnerable victims of banditry, violence, and instability. Without peace and stability, we cannot build a nation as rapidly as we want,” Tinubu stated.

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2023 Election: INEC to release timetable when Electoral Bill is signed

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The Independent National Electoral Commission INEC has said it will not release the 2023 general election timetable until the Electoral Act Amendment Bill is signed into law.

INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu disclosed this Tuesday in Abuja during the commission’s first quarterly consultative meeting with political parties.

He said; “On the Electoral Amendment Bill currently before the National Assembly, the Commission is encouraged by the Senate President’s assurance to give priority attention to the Bill when the National Assembly reconvenes from its recess today, and the commitment by the President to assent to the Bill as soon as the issue of mode of primaries by political parties is resolved. We look forward to a speedy passage of the Bill, which is crucial to our preparations for future elections.

“As soon as it is signed into law, the Commission will quickly release the Timetable and Schedule of Activities for the 2023 General Election based on the new law”.

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There’ll be level playing ground for all presidential aspirants– PDP Chairman to Momodu

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Iyorchia Ayu, the National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party has told presidential aspirant, Dele Momodu, that members of the party, and not leaders, would determine who emerges as the PDP presidential candidate in the 2023 general elections.

Ayu said this on Thirsday during Momodu’s visit to the PDP National Secretariat in Abuja where he formally presented his letter of intent to contest for the party’s presidential ticket.

The National Chairman noted that the PDP had no preferred presidential candidate and would provide a level-playing ground for all aspirants.

Ayu said, “For you to run for office, you must have a strong platform, but the first responsibility I will charge you to do is to work hard and build a strong party with which we can go into battle with.

“For your personal ambition like all other candidates, I wish you well, I wish you the best.

“There will be a level playing ground for all aspirants, just like you, we don’t have a special candidate, PDP has no preferred candidate, the party members will decide who will contest any office.

“If at the end of the day, party members vote for you, PDP will stand behind you. You have to go out and work out there among the party members across the country, because the party leadership will not do it for you. Our job is to try and provide the necessary mechanism.”

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