By John Ikani
Strong indication emerged Thursday night that President Muhammadu Buhari will receive the 2010 Electoral Act (Amendment) Bill 2021 passed by the National Assembly last week, by Friday or Saturday this week.
Chairman of the Senate Committee on Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Senator Kabiru Gaya confirmed the plan in Abuja during a chat with reporters.
“The Electoral Act Amendment Bill would be transmitted to the President Muhammadu Buhari for assent this week,” he said.
Gaya added that the President will assent to the bill despite opposition from some quarters against direct primaries recommended for all political parties in the Bill.
According to him, “I believe that direct primary is taking democracy to the grassroots. That is what President Buhari always talked about.
“It will allow people who are card carrying members of the party to decide who should be their candidate. We are happy with it and we believe that President Buhari will sign the bill very soon.
“The National Assembly will transmit the bill to the President this week for assent and we expect that he will sign it into law by the grace of God.”
The senator insisted that the amendments made to the Electoral Act 2010 were based on the views and requests of Nigerians.
“I believe that it will help to guarantee free, fair and credible elections in the country,” he said.
The Senate last week passed the much anticipated harmonized version of the Electoral Act (Amendment) Bill, 2021after both the Upper Chamber and the House of Representatives deliberated extensively on the report of the Conference Committee on the bill as a way of returning democracy to the people.
With the passage, the National Assembly gave its nod to the electronic transmission of election results by INEC.
Although the Upper Chamber was initially rooted for indirect primary, it made a U-turn and supported the direct mode.