CSOs urge NASS to prioritise electoral bill upon resumption

A Coalition of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), has urged the National Assembly to prioritise conclusion of the Electoral Bill during its first sitting when it resumes from recess on Tuesday.

The CSOs made the call on Monday in Abuja at a news conference tagged: “Civil Society Statement on the need for the National Assembly to Act with Dispatch on the Electoral Bill on Resumption from Recess’’.

The CSOs are: Yiaga Africa, International Press Centre (IPC), Centre for Citizens with Disability (CCD), The Albino Foundation, CLEEN Foundation, Institute for Media and Society (IMS), and Nigerian Women Trust Fund (NWTF).

Others are: Premium Times Centre for Investigative Journalism (PTCIJ), Partners for Electoral Reform (PER), Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC), Women Advocates Research and Documentation Centre (WARDC) and Nigerian Network of Non-Governmental Organizations (NNNGO).

One of the conveners of the Coalition, Lanre Arogundade, the Executive Director, International Press Centre (IPC) said that the CSOs held a Citizens’ Town hall Forum on the Electoral Bill on Sunday.

Arogundade said that the objective of the forum was on the need for the National Assembly to prioritise the review of the Bill with dispatch.

“Today, with only 398 days to the 2023 general elections, it is crucial for the National Assembly and President to conclude the electoral amendment process by 31 Jan., 2022.

“The National Assembly should remove the contentious clause of direct primaries, resolve all the identified drafting errors and cross-referencing gaps and re-transmit the bill to the President for assent within a week of resumption.

“As the nation awaits the resumption of the National Assembly on Tuesday Jan.18, 2022, Nigerians expect that work on the electoral amendment bill will be the priority issue on the order paper.

“The leadership of the National Assembly should therefore, conclude this process as any further delay will undermine public confidence in the reform process.”

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