The Nigerian Senate, on Tuesday, re-amended the Electoral Act Amendment Bill 2022 to include provisions clearly stating the mode of primaries to be adopted by political parties in the country.
The re-amendment came after a motion on “rescission on clause 84 of the Electoral Act No. 26 2010 (Amendment) Bill, 2022 and Committal to the Committee of the Whole” moved by the Senate Leader, Yahaya Abdullahi (Kebbi North) on Tuesday.
According to a statement signed by the Special Adviser to the Senate President on Media, Ezrel Tabiowo, the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, after the amendment to the electoral bill by the Committee of the Whole, said the re-amendment was done to harmonise its position with that of the House of Representatives.
Lawan also disclosed that the amendment accommodates clearly defined provisions for the mode of primaries, expressing optimism that the bill would be signed into law when transmitted by the National Assembly to President Muhammadu Buhari for his assent.
Senator Lawan however warned that political parties that fail or refuse to abide by the provisions on the mode of primaries, would miss out on the opportunity to participate during elections.
He said: “On the mode of conducting primaries by parties to produce candidates, we have concluded our task on the amendment to the Electoral Act No. 6 2010 Bill.
“You would recall that the Senate and the House passed the Electoral Act amendment Bill with slight difference.
“While the House passed the mode of primaries to be direct and indirect only, the Senate passed the mode of primaries to be direct, indirect and consensus.
“What we have done is to give very clear and sufficient definition to each mode of primaries.
“The direct primary is well defined on how it will be conducted; ditto the Indirect primaries. And for the consensus, the two chambers have produced in this Bill, a very clear definition of how a consensus candidate would emerge.
“Therefore, we are very glad that we have been able to achieve this consensus between the two chambers to arrive at this harmonised version, and we are also very optimistic that Mr President will sign the bill.
“Our desire is to ensure that we reform the electoral processes in Nigeria for better transparency, accountability and Integrity to the satisfaction of Nigerians and the international community.
“Political parties, when this is signed into law, will have the responsibility of ensuring that they follow the law, otherwise they will end up missing the opportunity to participate in elections.”