OrderPaperToday– A Bill to allow for independent candidacy in the Nigerian political system was on Wednesday re- introduced on the floor of the Senate by Stella Oduah (PDP, Anambra North).
A statement released by Cynthia Ferdinand, media spokesman for Oduah, said “the Bill titled: 1999 Constitution of Nigeria (Alteration) Bill 2016 (SB. 228) in the tradition of the senate was introduced and read for the first time by the Senate Leader Senator Ali Ndume and the Clerk of the Senate.
“This Bill seeks to amend sections 131 (c) 177 (c) 62 (2) & 106 (d) of 1999 Nigeria Constitution as amended which stipulates that candidates for elections must be sponsored by political parties.”
The statement said that earlier “on the 19th February 2016, Oduah took to her Twitter handle to declare her intentions to sponsor a bill that will ensure the provision for independent candidacy in Nigeria and called on her colleagues to support the bill when it is presented on the floor of the Senate Chamber.”
According to her “the impact of this cannot be overemphasized as it will create room for independence of candidates in Nigeria electoral system and give more well meaning citizens opportunity to participate in governance.”
Oduah pledged to do all within her reach as a lawmaker with support from her colleagues and the 8th senate leadership to ensure that this opportunity is secured for Nigerians.
“I will do all within my power, with the support of my colleagues of the Nigeria Senate to ensure that this democratic freedom is secured for Nigerians,” she stated.
The statement said: “we recall that the 7th National Assembly had debated and supported the independent candidate clause and made an alteration; by inserting a new paragraph (d), which reads, “He is a member of a political party and is sponsored by that party or he is an independent candidate” in the fourth amendment to the 1999, however it failed to scale through before the end of the last assembly.”