OrderPaperToday– Two frontline civil society groups, FixPolitics initiative and OrderPaper Advocacy Initiative, have called on the National Assembly to override the President’s veto on the electoral bill.
Both organizations condemned the refusal of the President to assent to the long-delayed bill laden with reform potentials for the nation’s electoral governance and deepening of democracy.
This was contained in a press statement by Mr. Oke Epia, Executive Director of OrderPaper Advocacy; and Mr. Anthony Ubani, Executive Director of FixPolitics and Remi Sonaiya, Co-Chair, Constitutional, Political and Electoral Reform of FixPolitics issued on the 22nd of December 2021.
The veto by Mr. President is described by the groups as a “brazen attitude of disdain for the rule of law and for citizens who are supportive of the bill.”
The statement said that Nigerians expect the National Assembly to put into use the provisions stated in Section 58(5) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended), thus:
“Where the President withholds his assent and the bill is again passed by each House by two-thirds majority, the bill shall become law and the assent of the President shall not be required.”
“The NASS should be reminded that they are not a presidential annex, department or parastatal but a co-equal branch of government with the Executive and Judiciary.
Nigerians elect members of the NASS to serve as their representatives and a check on the executive branch’s excesses and possible misuse of power.
The President’s latest violation of the 1999 Constitution and disrespect for Nigerians’ needs puts the members of the National Assembly to a test: Who are they loyal to? The President or the 1999 Constitution in whom the Nigerian citizens vests sovereignty
“Enough is enough it stated, with power’s arrogance, the impunity and disrespect for Nigerians’ will and needs, as well as the repeated violations of the 1999 Constitution.
“Nigeria is a democratic country and it is time for the National Assembly to step up to the call of duty, act boldly; meet the challenge of the moment and save our democracy from further erosion and dictatorial reflexes,” the statement said.