President Muhammadu Buhari has written the Independent National Electoral Commission’s Chairman, Mahmoud Yakubu, seeking advice over the Electoral Act Amendment Bill 2021.
Buhari, in the letter, sought comments on the controversial sole adoption of direct primary option for parties to produce candidates for elections among other key issues ahead of 2023 general elections.
The Senate had recently passed the Electoral Act Amendment Bill and approved that all political parties must use the direct primary mode in picking candidates.
It also gave approval on the electronic transmission of results.
The development, however, sparked outrage with some governors and lawmakers sharing different views on the matter.
Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, had earlier said the expectation of members of the National Assembly was that Buhari would sign Electoral Bill 2021 into law.
He called for more engagements to be coordinated by the leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC) to resolve any form of disagreement and assuage the feelings of governors who were not happy over the direct primary option.
Recall that last Thursday, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, said the President was in support of the direct primary which allows all card-carrying members of political parties to be involved in the choice of candidates for major elections after a meeting with the president.
The president has until December 19 to sign the bill or communicate to the National Assembly his feelings and comments about the bill.
The Senate and the House of Representatives can recall the bill and pass it if after 30 days the president refuses to sign the bill.
The bill automatically becomes a law even without the signature of the President if it is passed in the form it was sent to the President by two-thirds majority votes in both chambers.
Meanwhile, Nigerians await the update on the content of the letter from the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu.
“The President will consult with those who he believes are important to his decision and who can advise him on the Electoral Act. And he will meet them. But I cannot draw boundaries or name specifics and say this is who the President might meet. He ultimately decides,” he had said.