A coalition of civil society groups has commended President Muhammadu Buhari for signing into law, the reworked Electoral Act Amendment bill.
The groups, 25 of them, described the signing of the bill as a huge milestone in Nigeria’s quest to consolidate electoral democracy.
They said the new Act which incorporates innovative provisions that will enhance credibility of Nigeria’s electoral process, signifies a new era in the history of elections in Nigeria.
Thry also said it also symbolises the commitment of Nigerians to remain consistent in the demand for credible, free, inclusive, transparent and fair elections.
In a statement sent to PREMIUM TIMES, the CSOs commended the president for fulfilling his promise of assenting to the Electoral Bill and the National Assembly for their responsiveness in ensuring the legislation substantially reflects the will of Nigerians.
Nigerians, other CSOs and the media were also applauded for their active participation and vigilance in engaging the electoral reform process, their steadfastness, resilience and sustaining the pressure for successful completion of the electoral reform process.
While they noted that the new law reviews timeline for election activities, the groups urged the electoral umpire, INEC, to issue a notice of election.
“Among other important provisions, this Electoral Act reviews timelines for election activities. For instance, the new Act requires INEC to issue a Notice of Election not later than 360 days to the next General Election. We call on INEC to as a matter of urgency issue a notice of election and announce new dates for the 2023 General Elections.
“The undersigned CSOs call on the National Assembly to ensure gazetted copies of the Electoral Act 2022 are available to citizens and election stakeholders in a timely manner. We note that a delay in this will further reduce the opportunities for citizen’s and stakeholders to sufficiently familiarise with provisions in the new Act and support its implementation,” part of the statement read.
The new law, they said, is a product of a consistent citizen’s actions and effective partnerships towards reforming Nigeria’s electoral process. And history will reckon with this dedication towards building our electoral democracy.
Some of the CSOs that signed the statement are ActionAid Nigeria, Yiaga Africa, Partners for Electoral Reform (PER), International Press Centre, Institute for Media and Society and Nigerian Women Trust Fund.
Others are Albino Foundation, Centre for Citizens with Disability, Centre for Journalism Innovation and Development, Transition Monitoring Group and CLEEN Foundation.
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