The leadership of the Inter-Party Advisory Council, IPAC, has expressed deep worry over the recurring drama of delays in signing the Electoral Act Amendment Bill into law.

The National Chairman of IPAC, Engr Yagbagi Sani, said in a statement on Wednesday that the body is very worried about the latest dimension to the Executive-Legislative face-off on the Electoral Act Amendment Bill.

He said that it was the expectation of IPAC and most Nigerians that the contentious areas which culminated in the withdrawal of Presidential assent should have been addressed before it’s second transmission to pave the for a hitch free signing of the bill.

He said that the bill has generated another round of controversy because the Federal Legislators introduced new clauses into it .

He said is the clause that makes it mandatory for appointed political office holders who are interested in contesting elective positions, to resign before doing so has jolted appointees which had triggered another around of controversy around the critical bill.

He expressed the concern that the high expectations from the introduction of the Biometric Voter Accreditation System (BVAS), the electronic transmission of results and other important areas of the bill will be missed by the country if the bill is not signed.

He said “There are reports that certain forces presently holding political offices, in league with others with shared interests against the BIIL, have since engaged in overt and covert activities aimed at scuttling the bill from becoming an Act.

“ If opponents of the Bill succeed in winning over the President, the implication is that none of its series of innovative guidelines and provisions will be applied by INEC in the conduct of the 2023 elections.”

“The greatest fears of Nigerians and those of us at IPAC, is that in the event of such a scenario, the widely hailed Biometric Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) as well as the electronic transmission of results along with other cardinal components of the Bill, will not be mandatory for use by INEC in the elections.”

“The leadership of IPAC is loathe to buy into the opinion held in many quarters that all the controversies over the electoral bill might have been a deliberate and conscious conspiracy by power interests in the Executive and the Legislature who are averse to positive changes that make it difficult for them to continue in their old game of manipulating the electoral process.”

He called on all Democrats and patriotic Nigerians stand up against the retrogressive forces who are bent on retarding the progress of the nation’s democracy.

He called on President Muhammadu Buhari to give his assent to the Bill as presently transmitted by the National Assembly in fulfillment of his “avowed commitment to bequeathing a culture of transparent and credible elections to the country.”

He advised that the Bill could be revisited and amended again after presidential assent if necessary either before or after the 2023 elections.


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