By Luminous Jannamike— ABUJA
A group of civil society organisations, CSOs, on the platform of the Coalition for Constitutional and Electoral Reforms, Sunday, called on the National Assembly to give Nigerians a New Year gift by ensuring the passage of the electoral amendment bill at first sitting in 2021.
The CSOs said that it was sad that the much-anticipated December 2020 target for the passage and transmission of the bill for assent by the President was missed.
Against that backdrop, the coalition stressed the need to have the electoral bill passed and signed this month, adding that doing so was instructive, so that it could be tested and used in good time for the 2021 Anambra governorship election.
Speaking at a briefing in Abuja, Ariyo-Dare Atoye (Centre for Liberty) said: “We have come to restate our unwavering commitment to electoral reforms and to ask the National Assembly to urgently have the Bill for an Act to Repeal the Electoral Act No. 5, 2010 (As Amended) and Enact the Independent National Electoral Commission Act, INEC, 2021, passed in the first sitting of 2021, and transmitted for an immediate assent by the President Muhammadu Buhari.
“Having missed the much-anticipated December 2020 target, the need to have the electoral bill passed and signed in January 2021, has become imperative.
“The impressive turnout of Nigerians at the public hearing in 2020, the quality presentations of suggestions and the adoptions of memoranda are a sure testament to the eagerness and zeal of the people to have free, fair and credible elections employed and tested in the 2021 Anambra election, through the quick passage of the bill.”
Also speaking, Jude Feranmi (Raising New Voices), said that Nigerians were already expecting INEC to announce the date and time table for the Anambra election.