The Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, will meet with President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday to discuss the electoral act, Femi Adesina, the Spokesperson to Mr Buhari has disclosed.
Mr Adesina said this on Monday while appearing on Sunrise Daily, a programme on Channels TV. While answering questions from the host on if Mr Buhari will sign the bill, Mr Adesina said engagement is ongoing on the bill.
“The Speaker of the House came to see him last week, I know that the Senate President is coming to see him today. Engagements are on, when he signs, it will be public,” Mr Adesina said.
Mr Adesina said he does not know if the governors will be visiting the president on the legislation.
On Friday, a copy of the bill was transmitted from the National Assembly to the President for assent. The transmission was done barely 24 hours after the Speaker of the House, Femi Gbajabiamila had visited the President where he made a strong case for direct primaries.
Clause 87 of the bill has created a rift between the National Assembly and governors. At the consideration of the bill in July, the Speaker of the House had moved an amendment that the direct primaries should be introduced. The clause was passed and subsequently adopted by the Senate
Direct primaries was also adopted by the upper chamber after the Senators made a u-turn on the controversial Clause 53(2).
The APC governors under the Progressives Governors Forum had kicked against the direct primaries clause in the bill. Also, the main opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) had also in a statement kicked against the clause.
Direct primaries involve the participation of all party members in the selection of candidates, while indirect primaries involve the use of delegates who are mostly leaders and executives at the ward, local government, state and national levels to elect party candidates.
The Chairman of APC governors’ forum, Abubakar Bagudu, of Kebbi State, had argued in October that the Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) would be overstretched if the amendment is allowed to go.
On Sunday, the APC governors also met in Abuja to discuss issues surrounding rotation, the national convention, direct primaries, among other issues.
The governors have a history of influencing Mr Buhari.
In December 2020, the governors were able to prevail on the president to shun the invitation of the House of Representatives on Security.
The lower chamber had invited Mr Buhari to brief the joint session of the National Assembly on security, of which he had initially agreed to, however, he change his mind in the aftermath of the governors’ appeal.
PREMIUM TIMES had reported how the governors had, during the National Executive Council meeting, moved a motion that the president should cancel the planned address to the National Assembly.
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