The former Senate President, Bukola Saraki, on Wednesday suggested two courses of action to the National Assembly following the refusal of President Muhammadu Buhari to sign the Electoral Act Amendment Bill.
Saraki offered the suggestions in a statement just a few hours after the lawmakers failed in their bid override the President on his decision to withheld assent to the contentious bill.
The President in a letter addressed to the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, on Monday explained why he withheld assent to the electoral bill.
In the letter, Buhari said signing the document into law would plunge the country into legal, financial, economic, and security crises.
The ex Senate President said: “Now that Mr. President has conveyed his decision to decline assent to the Electoral Act [Amendment] Bill, I am sure that I speak on behalf of millions of Nigerians in urging the National Assembly to act fast.
“This is because we cannot sit back and allow one contentious clause to throw away all the positives in the proposed Electoral Act [Amendment] Bill.
“At this point, two options are open to the National Assembly. They either veto the President’s decline of assent or remove the contentious provision on direct primaries and send it back to the President for his assent.
Whichever option our legislators choose can be accomplished in the shortest possible time. We could have a new electoral law in January 2022.”
Saraki stressed that the country needed a new electoral law that would lead to credible elections at various levels.
He added: “This proposed electoral law is expected to reassure the youths, many of whom steer clear of the political process because they have no confidence in the system. They believe the system is usually rigged and compromised.
“One way to bring this active demography into the political system is to enact a new law that will give them hope in our nation. This Electoral Act [Amendment] Bill serves that purpose.
“This is why, as the representatives of the Nigerian people, the National Assembly must take a decision in the interest of our nation and its long-term democracy. The option of not doing anything after the refusal of the assent by the President is not an option.”