Governors lead opposition to reworked Electoral Bill

The Bill is due to be delivered to President Muhammadu Buhari today for his assent.

But, governors, especially those of the All Progressives Congress (APC), are leading the opposition to the reworked Bill.

It was gathered that they will mount pressure on the President to withhold his assent until two clauses are amended or dropped.

The clauses in contention are resignation by appointed political office holders, including ministers, commissioners and others before 2023 election primaries; and the ‘unworkable’ consensus option in picking candidates by political parties.

It is rampant for appointed political office holders to remain in office while contesting in their party’s primaries.

The Office of the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice has also been uncomfortable with the re-amended bill.

Our correspondent learnt that the governors and some ministers were not happy with what they termed as “alleged two dangerous clauses in the re-amended bill on Electoral Act.”

The clauses include the provision for consensus and another which makes it mandatory for all political office holders to resign if they want to contest for any elective post in 2023.

A source, who spoke in confidence, said it might be a battle of the fittest by the governors and the National Assembly this week.

The source said the two groups have resolved to take the battle to the President, who will ultimately decide.

The source said: “The National Assembly has inserted two new clauses on consensus and resignation by all political office holders before contesting for 2023 poll.

“While the senators and members of the House of Representatives agreed on consensus, they recommended that before a consensus candidate can emerge, all contestants must sign a written agreement that they have consented to the adoption of such an aspirant.

“They inserted in the re-amended bill that if one of the contestants is dissenting, no one can become a consensus candidate. Instead, all the contestants will either go for direct or indirect primary election.

“The senators and the Representatives put the difficult clause on consensus to stop the governors from imposing any anointed aspirant. The governors can no longer work to the answer.

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