President Muhammadu Buhari signed the modified Electoral Act under strong pressure from Nigerians, according to Senator Istifanus Gyang of Plateau North.
Nothing, he added, would have stopped the National Assembly from overriding the President if he had vetoed the law a second time.
Gyang said this in an interview with journalists in Jos, the Plateau State capital, where he was watching the Jos North/Bassa Federal Constituency bye-election.
“The President’s signing into law of the modified Electoral Act has been long overdue,” he stated, “because we in the National Assembly have been longing to provide Nigeria an electoral process that is credible, transparent, and where the election outcome reflects the reality and the will of the people.”
“We want to thank the President for at least acceding to Nigerians’ will and wishes under duress.”
“We, the National Assembly members, were waiting to see what he would do, and he has now done what would have saved him an embarrassment otherwise, we would have gone on and overridden him if he had vetoed the bill.”
Gyang, who is the Deputy Chairman of the Senate Committee on Defence, praised Nigerian citizens, particularly civil society, for maintaining pressure on President Buhari to sign the Electoral Act into law, which he termed as a “vital job” entrusted to him by the constitution.
He expressed his satisfaction that Nigeria now has an Electoral Act that allows INEC to carry out its responsibilities responsibly.
Also speaking, Member representing Jos South/Jos East in the House of Representatives, Hon. Dachung Musa Bagos said the Electoral Act would give Nigerians a free, fair and credible election in 2023.
“Now that the Electoral Act has been signed into law, we expect that the 2023 election should be one of the best free and fair elections Nigeria has ever had.
“We have had a lot of laws but at the end of the day, a lot but nobody has ever been brought to book when they go against the law and by this, we expect that all elections would be in accordance with the law,” he said.
He explained that the electoral act has exonerated members of the National Assembly from the perception of a section of the country who see them as a rubber stamp assembly.