The Senate has today announced the amendment and passed the Electoral Act Amendment Bill into law after President Muhammadu Buhari had in December, rejected the bill based on Clause 87.
At the plenary, the senators have now removed the recommended mandatory direct mode of primary in the selection of candidates for elective offices.
According to the statement by the Special Assistant to the Senate President, Ezrel Tabiowo, said the chamber, in Clause 84(2) of the report, recommended direct, indirect primaries or consensus as procedure for the nomination of candidates by political parties for the various elective positions.
The Senate also recommended in Clause 84(3) that “a political party that adopts the direct primaries procedure shall ensure that all aspirants are given equal opportunity of being voted for by members of the party.”
Clause 84(4) further provides that “a political party that adopts the system of indirect primaries for the choice of its candidate shall adopt the procedure outlined below; (a) In the case of nominations to the position of Presidential candidate, a political party shall, (i) hold special conventions in each of the 36 states of the federation and FCT, where delegates shall vote for each of the aspirants at designated centers in each State Capital on specified dates.”
The clause also provides that a National Convention shall be held for the ratification of the candidate with the highest number of votes.
Subsequently, the Nigerian House of Representatives has also adopted the provision of direct and indirect primaries for the nomination of candidates for elective positions by political parties.
This followed the consideration and adoption of section 84(2) of the Electoral Act Amendment Bill recommitted to the House at plenary in line with order 12, Rule 20 (1-3) of the Standing Orders of the House.
The House amended the controversial Clause 84(2) and agreed that candidates for an election shall be emerge through either direct or indirect primaries by political parties.
At the beginning of the session, opposition lawmakers have attempted to stop the process but were later convinced by the Minority Leader, Mr. Ndudi Elumelu, and took part in the consideration process.
Now that both houses have amended and adopted the President’s observation, the amended clause will be harmonized and re-transmitted to the President for assent.