President Muhammadu Buhari’s speech at UN general debate
President Muhammadu Buhari

want INEC to issue a Notice of Election not later than 360 days

By Gabriel Ewepu

ABUJA- ABOUT 25 Civil Society Organisations, CSOs, Friday, lauded President Muhammadu Buhari, over the historic signing of the Electoral Act Amendment Bill into law.

This was contained in a joint Civil Society statement, signed by the following; ActionAid Nigeria; Yiaga Africa; Partners for Electoral Reform (PER); International Press Centre; Institute for Media and Society; Inclusive Friends Association (IFA); Nigerian Women Trust Fund; The Albino Foundation; Centre for Citizens with Disability; Centre for Journalism Innovation and Development; Transition Monitoring Group; CLEEN Foundation; Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC); Women Advocates Research and Documentation Centre (WARDC).

READ ALSO:Electoral Act: Senator Sani Musa hails Buhari; congratulates Federal Lawmakers, Nigerians

Others are Nigeria Network of Non-Governmental Organizations (NNNGO); Enough is Enough; The Electoral Hub; Centre for Liberty; Take Back Nigeria Movement; International Peace and Civic Responsibility Centre (IPCRC); 100 Women Lobby Group; Women in Politics Forum; Raising New Voices; Millennials Active Citizenship Advocacy Africa; and ReadyToLeadAfrica.

The CSOs described the action of the Buhari as marking a huge milestone in Nigerian’s quest to consolidate electoral democracy.

The statement reads in part, “Today, Friday, 25th February 2022, President Muhammadu Buhari signed the Electoral Bill 2022 into law, marking a huge milestone in Nigerian’s quest to consolidate electoral democracy.

“The new Electoral Act, 2022 which incorporates innovative provisions that will enhance the credibility of our electoral process, signifies a new era in the history of elections in Nigeria. More importantly, the new Electoral Act symbolizes the commitment of Nigerians to remain consistent in the demand for credible, free, inclusive, transparent, and fair elections.

“We, as civil society commend the President for fulfilling his promise of assenting to the Electoral Bill. We also commend the National Assembly for their responsiveness in ensuring the Bill substantially reflects the will of the Nigerian people and for transmitting same to the President upon Citizens’ demands as laid back in January 2022.

“We commend and congratulate Nigerians for their active participation and vigilance in engaging the electoral reform process since inception. Civil Society Organisations, and the Media deserve special commendation for their steadfastness, resilience, and sustaining the pressure for successful completion of the electoral reform process.

“We also acknowledge the contributions of the development partners as well as other stakeholders that have consistently provided support towards the electoral reform process.”

However, the statement pointed that, “Among other important provisions, this Electoral Act reviews timelines for election activities. For instance, the new Act requires the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to issue a Notice of Election not later than 360 days to the next General Election We call on INEC to as a matter of urgency issue a notice of election and announce new dates for the 2023 General Elections.”

Meanwhile, the statement also called on the “National Assembly to ensure gazetted copies of the Electoral Act 2022 are available to citizens and election stakeholders in a timely manner.

“We note that a delay in this will further reduce the opportunities for citizens and stakeholders to sufficiently familiarise with provisions in the new Act and support its implementation.

“The undersigned CSOs call on the National Assembly to ensure gazetted copies of the Electoral Act 2022 are available to citizens and election stakeholders in a timely manner.

“We note that a delay in this will further reduce the opportunities for citizens and stakeholders to sufficiently familiarise with provisions in the new Act and support its implementation.

“This Electoral Act 2022, is a product of a consistent citizen’s actions and effective partnerships towards reforming Nigeria’s electoral process. History will reckon with this dedication towards building our electoral democracy”, it added.

Subscribe for latest Videos

Disclaimer

Comments expressed here do not reflect the opinions of vanguard newspapers or any employee thereof.