Governors elected on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has allegedly lobbying the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, to advise President Muhammadu Buhari against signing the Electoral Act Amendment Bill.
Naija News reports that the National Assembly had on Tuesday pass the bill.
Observers feel the passage of the bill that mandates political parties to conduct primaries using the Direct Primary mode was lawmakers way in cutting down the powers of the governors.
Although, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has also condemned the passage of the bill, the House of Representatives had stated on Tuesday that it would consider a veto if Buhari fails to assent to the bill, while members of the Senate expressed the same sentiment.
According to PUNCH, the APC Governors’ Forum is looking to use the influence of the Governor of Kebbi State, Atiku Bagudu, to talk to Malami who is from the state and is reported to be nursing a governorship ambition in 2023.
An aide to one of the governors stated that, “The President is expected to receive the bill next week after which he will forward it to Malami for legal advice. What the governors now plan to do is to lobby Malami to ensure that the bill is not assented to. Malami is from Kebbi, just like Bagudu; so, the governors are hopeful that he will listen to Bagudu.”
Recall that Bagudu had on Monday kicked against the clause in the Electoral Bill that mandates political parties to adopt the direct primary system.
This was following a meeting with eight other APC governors in Abuja.
Governors at the meeting include Dr Kayode Fayemi (Ekiti), David Umahi (Ebonyi), Mai Mala Buni (Yobe), Yahaya Bello (Kogi), Simon Lalong (Plateau), Gboyega Oyetola (Osun), Abdullahi Ganduje (Kano) and Mohammed Badaru (Jigawa).
The governor said, “There have been concerns that political parties are voluntary organisations, and our concern is that once you limit the abilities of the parties to choose options that they so desire, that may arguably be undemocratic, because nothing stops one party from adopting one or the other.
“Direct primary involves the supervisory role of INEC at multiple levels at multiple points; so, you can imagine that if political parties are doing their primaries through the direct system, INEC resources will be overstretched, and I think the chairman of INEC has even commented on that; so, whether the legislation has incorporated the financial implications or not, I don’t know yet.”