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Electoral Act: Don’t condemn Buhari for withholding assent – Yoruba group

A Yoruba sociocultural group, Yoruba Council of Youths Worldwide, says President Muhammadu Buhari should not be condemned for withholding his assent on the amended Electoral Act passed by the National Assembly.

President Muhammadu Buhari in a handshake with the President of the Senate Dr Abubakar Bukola Saraki and Speaker Rt Hon Yakubu Dogara during the meeting with members of National Assembly Executives at the State House in Abuja.

Mr Oladotun Hassan, the President of the group, made the assertion in a statement on Friday in Lagos.

Hassan said: “The three arms of government are independently separated, but expected to act as watch in the balancing and dispensation of their statutory roles and duties.

“Hence, it will be most absurd to condemn in abstract the decision of President Muhammadu Buhari to withhold his assent on the electoral act’s amendment bill, aimed at exclusively altering the INEC’s timetable schedules.

“It is most unfortunate that from the inception of the 8th Assembly, the legislative arm has chronically find itself in a web of power tussle with the executive over issues that can easily be trashed out amicably,” he said.

Hassan, a legal practitioner, also advised the executive to shun every tendency to interfere in the roles and functions of the electoral umpire, saying that it could be dangerous to the nation’s democracy.

He said: “It is most dangerously unfair if the executive is allowed unfettered veto to turn down vital bills and resolutions passed by the National Assembly over matters of national importance and other ancillary resolutions.

“One cannot overlook the horse-trading going on in the fractured political space, which is further over-heated as a result of internal strife within the APC and attritions in other political parties’ conclaves.

“It is most unfortunate that these careless attitude by politicians has assumed uncontrollably crescendo height of reckless abandonment to delivery of dividends of democracy and unmitigated services to the masses.”

The group urged political gladiators to shun selfish interest in the face of the suffering masses, saying that the infighting between the executive and legislature would further multiply people’s hardship.

Hassan, who is also the Assistant Secretary, Nigeria Bar Association (NBA), Epe branch, added that in as much as INEC had the exclusive statutory powers to conduct elections, such powers were not absolute.

The legal practitioner said that such powers were subject to intermittent statutory oversight reviews by the National Assembly.

Hassan urged both arms of government to urgently resolve its infractions amicably to save the country from unpleasant consequences.

According to him, the National Assembly is right to amend any INEC timetable toward the conduct of a free and fair election.

The youth leader said that the implications of such impasse between executive and legislature would be huge on the already stagnated economy due to the continued delay in the budget passage. (NAN)


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