By Ismail Auwal
Femi Adesina has criticised those who have criticized President Muhammadu Buhari for taking too long to sign the Electoral Act Amendment Bill into law.
In a statement issued on Monday in Abuja, the President’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity accused them of using the crisis to stir civil unrest and disrupt the nation’s speed.
While justifying the President’s decision not to sign the bill yet, he emphasized that such people were simply unaware of the Constitution’s provisions in this scenario.
Adesina, who advised those trying to “foment trouble” over the delay not to play politics with a matter that requires thorough scrutiny.
He said the Executive could do due diligence on the amended Bill till March 1, as prescribed by the Constitution, stressing that a proposed legislation that had to do with the electoral fortunes of the country needed to be made as near-perfect as possible.
The statement read: “Some interest groups are cashing in on what they consider a delay in the signing of the Electoral Bill into law by the President to foment civil disorder and muddy the waters
“One can just pity their ignorance of Constitutional requirements, as the President has a window of 30 days within which to sign the Bill, or decline assent, after it had been transmitted to him by the National Assembly.
“It is on record that the amended Bill was sent to the Presidency on January 31, 2022, which means that the Executive could do due diligence on it till March 1, as prescribed by the Constitution.
“A proposed legislation that has to do with the electoral fortunes of the country needs to be thoroughly scrutinized, and be made as near-perfect as possible.”
“Those playing cheap politics with it are, therefore, encouraged to hold their peace, knowing that the right thing will be done within the lawful time.”
The President had among other reasons initially withheld assent to the Electoral Bill 2021 transmitted to him on 19th November 2021 to allow each political party determine its mode of selecting candidates for election through options of direct, indirect, and consensus.
This was amended by the National Assembly and retransmitted to the President for assent.