PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari has declined assent to the 2021 Electoral Act Amendment Bill, stating that signing it into law would cause trouble among the political parties in the country.

The letter of rejection of the bill, which is before the President of the Senate, Senator Ahmad Lawan, will be read on Tuesday at plenary.

The letter from Mr. President indicates that President Buhari refused to sign the bill, citing the direct primaries as approved by the National Assembly for picking candidates by political parties in the amended Electoral Act as dangerous to the polity.

Sources say the President refused assent to it against the backdrop that the parties have their various constitutions that indicate that primaries should be conducted either directly or indirectly.

And until such provisions are amended, asking parties to do that through direct means would mean forcing the parties to conduct primaries through direct means which, according to President Buhari, amounts to abuse of the constitution of the party.

The source said: “With all these reasons given by the President, he has returned the bill to the National Assembly, asking the lawmakers to look at the clause that has to do with direct primaries by political parties, work on it and return the document for assent.

There are strong indications that the Senate will be turbulent as the Senators will take a decision on the growing uncertainty in the political atmosphere as the 30 days’ deadline for President Muhammadu Buhari to sign the Electoral Act Bill elapsed on Sunday.



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