Barring any last-minute change, Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari is expected to sign the long-awaited Electoral Act Amendment Bill 2021, this Friday, February 25, 2022.
Reports say the President would be performing the very important function around 11:00 GMT on Friday.
Public anxiety had mounted, in the last few weeks, over President Buhari’s delay in assenting to the re-amended bill, as some members of the public, as well as some critical stakeholders, have already concluded that he is withholding assent to the bill again.
The National Assembly had transmitted the amended Electoral Act to President Buhari on January 31, having reportedly revised the bill, which he withheld his assent to at the end of last year, for reasons bordering on the mode of nomination of candidates by political parties.
However, the President has yet to assent to the re-amended bill more than 20 days after it was transmitted to him, though he constitutionally has a 30-day window within which he is mandated to either assent or state reasons for not doing so.
Sources close to the office of the President, however, revealed that arrangements had been finalized for the President to sign the amendment bill into law on Friday, finally putting all anxieties to rest.
It would be recalled that the President had withheld his assent to the bill in November 2021, citing the cost of conducting direct primary elections, security challenges, and possible manipulation of electoral processes by political players as part of the reasons for his decision.
He, however, gave some conditions to give his assent, prompting the lawmakers to re-work the bill which initially led to the emergence of two versions from the green and red chambers of the assembly.
When signed, the Electoral Act will expectedly transform the conduct of elections in Nigeria as well as revamp the entire electoral system.
Nigerian Leader to sign amended Electoral Act Bill on Friday