As the Senate gets set to pass the Electoral Act Amendment Bill into law, an elder statesman, Dr. Nnamdi Onochie, has told the lawmakers to hasten action and forward the document to President Muhammadu Buhari for assent.
Onochie appealed in a statement made available to the newsmen in Abuja on Sunday.
He said that urgency was required in the legislative processes of the bill, to give the president enough time to study the bill and make inputs before signing it on time for the 2023 general elections.
Onochie, a stalwart of the PDP, said that signing the bill into law would facilitate a level-playing ground for all political in the elections and boost the growth of democracy in the country.
“The APC came into office in 2015 because of robust electoral reforms and amendments to the Electoral Act which introduced many innovations as well as technology to assist our electoral system.
“The 2015 presidential election that ushered the APC into office was adjudged by both local and international observers as free, fair, credible, and transparent because of the reforms of the electoral system and amendments to the act by the previous PDP administration.
“That is why I am calling on the current Senate to do the needful by sending the amendments of the act to the president for his assent on time to allow enough period for the executive to make input and get it ready before the 2023 general elections.”
The former Delta commissioner for special duties said that the world was watching Nigeria as “the giant of Africa’’ gets set for the next general elections, noting that a good electoral system was the panacea for good governance and economic prosperity.
He told leaders of the APC to display statesmanship, having enjoyed the electoral reforms carried out by the PDP in 2015 and clinching power therefrom, rather than being “dodgy and shying away from providing Nigerians with a better electoral system as seen in 2019”.
Onochie also pleaded with members of the National Assembly to close ranks and push for legislation that would prosper Nigeria and make the country a stronger and united nation as another landmark national election gets underway.
On June 11, the Senate President, Dr. Ahmed Lawan, announced that the Senate would pass the Petroleum Industry Bill, the Constitution Amendment Bill, and other key bills this month.
Lawan announced at a news conference to mark the second anniversary of the Ninth Senate in Abuja.
NAN quoted Lawan as saying that the bills would be passed into law before members of the upper legislative chamber would embark on their annual recess later next month.
Lawan spoke in a speech entitled: “Beholding the Silver Lining in Nigeria”.