Senate Leader, Ahmed Lawan says President Muhammadu Buhari has signed more bills than previous Presidents of Nigeria.
The lawmaker made the remark on Friday, while speaking to Journalists after observing the Juma'at prayer at the Aso Rock mosque.
He said: The immediate past administration of President Jonathan didn't sign much, they kept most of the bills sent by the National Assembly. So I want to give kudos to the current President for ensuring that he looks into the bills before signing. Some he said he won't sign because of this or that provisions which are either contradictory constitutionally or maybe it will cause more harm than good, so therefore the National Assembly should look into it again.
Secondly, he has read and objected to certain provisions in many bills that were eventually sent back to the National Assembly to look and then return for further legislative actions for him to look at it again.
On the call on President Buhari in some quarters to sign the electoral amendment act, Lawan said it needs to meet certain requirements before the President signs.
The electoral bill you are talking about has been sent back twice or thrice, that is to tell you that the president is willing to sign the bill provided it meets certain conditions that will make our electoral processes better and more sane. So, the President is studying this bill, is not like you will send it to him and he will immediately sign. This is a sign that he is really interested in what we sent back to him. It is for him and his advisers to read through line by line and see how best the electoral process can be enhanced.
So, I don't think we have run out of time, in fact I think we should encourage the President and those helping him to complete going through the bill before he signs. What is the problem? We still have the 2006 Electoral Act as amended that we used in 2015 for an election that was adjudged to be free, fair and an improved process. We don't necessarily put so much pressure and unneeded criticism of the President when he is yet to complete his analysis of what has been sent to him. He needs to take his time.
And I will advise, even though I am not one of his advisers, that he goes through what has been sent to him line by line, understand whatever his advisers will tell him and of what we have sent will make the elections in 2019 better, then he signs but if however he discovers some provisions that will bring contradictions and controversies, he can can withhold assent. I'm not advocating that he withholds assent but if he does, that is his right. I want to tell you that the APC caucus in the National Assembly stands with Mr. President on this, he said.
The lawmaker said emphasized that the 2006 electoral act is in place and can be used to deliver a credible election next year.
The 2006 electoral act as amended was used in the 2015 general elections. Who amongst us will tell me that the 2015 general election was not free and fair? The processes were free and fair. So if we are not able to get this bill signed, we can still use the 2006 electoral act as amended and in fact we can even achieve better than we did in 2015. We can observe our deficiencies in 2015 elections using the same act and we can improve in the administrative approach to the elections. So, I personally believe the President is doing what is right, nobody should push, pressurize him into signing the bill, he needs to thoroughly read and then take a decision.
I noticed that the PDP in their meeting of yesterday said the Presidency must sign the bill, was the bill passed by the PDP or the National Assembly. This kind of thing tells you a lot. I expect for members of the National Assembly to be the ones talking and not PDP National Chairman or other Presidential candidates, Lawan said.
Source: Voice of Nigeria