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Buhari enjoyed direct primary, so shouldn’t reject electoral bill: Falana

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Mr Falana said that Mr Buhari, who in 2019 was a beneficiary of direct primary, was throwing away the baby with the bathwater.

Senior Advocate of Nigeria and human rights activists, Femi Falana, says President Muhammadu Buhari should not refuse assent to the electoral amendment bill, due to the direct primaries clause in it because Mr Buhari was once a beneficiary of direct primary.

“The reason adduced for the rejection of the Electoral Amendment Bill is grossly misleading. Section 87 of the current Electoral Act provides for either direct or indirect primaries.

“In fact, the APC used direct primary for the emergence of its presidential candidate in 2019. In other words, President Buhari is a beneficiary of direct primary,” Mr Falana said.

Peoples Gazette reported on Monday night how Mr Buhari rejected the electoral amendment bill passed by the National Assembly, citing direct primary and other reasons for refusing assent to it.

Mr Falana, in a statement Tuesday, argued that “By rejecting the Bill on the ground that it provided for direct primary the President decided to throw away the baby and the bathwater.

“Thus, the President rejected electronic voting which he had endorsed when he admitted that he is a beneficiary of electronic accreditation of voters by the use of card readers.”

The SAN further said that Mr Buhari will be leaving a tragic legacy behind having refused twice to assent to the electoral amendment bill.

“Having rejected to assent to the Electoral Amendment Bill in 2018 and 2021, President Buhari has confirmed beyond any shadow of a doubt that his administration will not allow the Independent National Electoral Commission to conduct credible elections in 2023.

“That is going to be the tragic legacy of the President and the ruling party that were campaigning for electoral reforms before the 2015 general elections,” Mr Falana said.

Femi Adesina, the special adviser on media to Mr Buhari, had once said that electoral reform was not important for elections to be fair under Mr Buhari’s regime.

“So, his reputation as somebody who wants to leave clean elections for Nigeria has already been made whether the electoral act is signed or not. It doesn’t distract from that reputation,” Mr Adesina argued.

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