Electoral Bill: Don’t override Buhari’s veto, senator warns colleagues

Nigerian senate chambers where senators attend plenary
Nigerian senate chambers

Solomon Adeola (APC, Lagos) has kicked against any attempt to override President Muhammadu Buhari’s veto on the Electoral (Amendment) Bill 2018.

Mr Adeola made this known, on Sunday, in a statement by his Media Adviser, Kayode Odunaro, in Abuja.

He said those making the calls to override the president’s veto did not have the interest of Nigerians at heart as they were not bothered about the success of the 2019 general elections.

The lawmaker said he would not support any move in the Senate to do such, adding that the plan was counterproductive.

According to him, passing the bill into law to take effect from the 2019 elections as observed by the president will not yield the desired result because the country has only a few months to the election.

“As a senator and Nigerian, I cannot be part of any move to override the president’s veto on the Electoral Bill.

“The president clearly stated his reasons for the veto and I think they are cogent enough to be accepted by all in national interest.

“Good enough, the president is not totally foreclosing the need to amend the Act as he clearly stated that such process can take place after the 2019 elections,” he said.

The lawmaker warned that moves to override the president’s veto would only amount to waste of “precious legislative time and overheating the polity in place of other important legislative agenda.”

He added that besides the waste of time, it would be an exercise in futility, stressing that the parliament would not have the required constitutional two third to override the president’s veto.

The lawmaker noted that “at this point, I will stand with all those desirous of peaceful and transparent election as promised by President Muhammadu Buhari.

“With the assurances by INEC that it is ready to conduct a free and fair election with or without the amendment of the electoral law, only those with ulterior motives will want to override the president’s veto less than three months to the general elections.”

President Buhari on December 7 declined to assent to the Electoral (Amendment) Bill 2018 for the fourth time.

Ita Enang, the President’s Senior Special Assistant on National Assembly Matters (Senate), said that the president had communicated his decision to the National Assembly.

In September, the president rejected the bill for the third time due to what Mr Enang described as “some drafting issues” that had remained unaddressed. (NAN)

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