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UK welcomes NASS commitment to passing electoral bill by June

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THE United Kingdom has welcomed the effort of the Nigerian National Assembly to pass the bill seeking an amendment into the country’s electoral law.

British High Commissioner to Nigeria Catriona Laing expressed this during a working visit to Nigerian Senate President Ahmad Lawan in Abuja on Tuesday.

“Welcome Senate President’s commitment to pass electoral bill by end June,” she said on her Twitter handle.

She added that “Important discussion today with @DrAhmadLawan and @JamesDuddridge about democracy, including electoral reform and deepening political participation. @NGRSenate @nassnigeria”

Rejected three times for various constitutional and drafting issues by President Muhammadu Buhari, the electoral bill was passed by the 8th Senate led by Bukola Saraki in 2019.

The opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has severally charged the president to show commitment to reform of the electoral system.

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At a state of the nation press briefing in Abuja in 2020, the party’s spokesman Kola Ologbondiyan accused President Buhari of aborting the amendment of the Electoral Act in the 8th Assembly.

“Going by the election that we have had after the killing of the amendment, it shows clearly that we cannot  continue  on electioneering that will take charge of the exigencies like  what happened in the last Kogi governorship election.”

He said failure to urgently initiate electoral reforms was a deliberate plot by the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) to enthrone a state of “nature where the will of any individual, supported by bandits and vagabonds will become the norm.”

He said the demand of the opposition party was for the president to address issues relating to the amendment of the Electoral Act on June 12 broadcast  and initiate the process of sending an Electoral Act amendment bill to the National Assembly within  14 days, with a commitment to sign the amendment when signed by the legislature.

Vincent Ufuoma is a reporter with The ICIR. He is a lover of God, truth, knowledge and justice.

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