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Hours after the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity told Channels Television that President Muhammadu Buhari will sign the Electoral Act Amendment Bill into law soon, sources in the Presidency have put the likely time as tomorrow.

 

The sources disclosed to Channels Television on Tuesday that President Buhari will likely sign the re-worked electoral act amendment bill into law on Wednesday, February 23.

 

According to the sources, all is now set for the President to append his signature to the bill.

 

This comes a few hours after Mr Femi Adesina during an interview on Sunrise Daily said President Buhari will sign the bill any moment from now.

“It could be today, it could be tomorrow, it could be anytime, but within the 30 days. It could be signed today; it could be signed tomorrow. In a matter of hours, not days. Hours could be 24 hours, it could be 48 hours; not days, not weeks,” Adesina said early on Tuesday morning.

This hint also comes amid protests by civil society groups in Abuja demanding that President Buhari assent the bill.

The groups on Tuesday morning gathered and displayed various placards at the Unity Fountain asking the President to sign the bill.

 

Re-Amended Electoral Bill

The National Assembly on January 31, transmitted the re-amended Electoral Act Amendment Bill to President Muhammadu Buhari for assent.

 

President Buhari’s Senior Special Assistant on NASS Matters (Senate), Senator Babajide Omoworare explained that the transmission of the bill was in line with the provisions of Section 58 (3) of the 1999 Constitution and the Acts Authentication Act Cap. A2 LFN 2004.

 

Earlier before this, lawmakers in the Senate and House of Representatives passed the harmonised version of the bill.

President Buhari withheld his assent to the bill in November last year, citing the cost of conducting direct primary elections, security challenges, and possible manipulation of electoral processes by political actors as part of the reasons for his decision.

 

The President said he will sign the bill when the necessary adjustment is done.

He said such changes must include the addition of consensus candidates, indirect primary options to the mode of selecting a candidate for an election, as against the initial direct mode as the only option to conduct primaries by political parties.