Former chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Attahiru Muhammadu Jega, gave the warning on Sunday while speaking at the citizens’ town hall on the Electoral Bill 2021 organised by Yiaga Africa and partners.
In his words: “With the way the provisions of the bill stands, the National Assembly should do the needful rather than contemplating overriding the President by removing the contentious provisions.”
He affirmed that the Electoral Bill contains quite a lot of good things that could enhance electoral integrity.
He said what is key is to give INEC the law to improve upon ahead of the 2023 election and to ensure that parties coordinate directly.
“It’s very important that we have a lot of legal frame work. I think clearly the electoral process would have better integrity if we do direct primaries appropriately.
“Any governor that manipulates direct primaries can manipulate indirect primaries indirectly,” he said.
On his part, the president of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Olumide Apata, said, “I am so disappointed with the way things have turned up. Everything about Electoral bill spelt progress but we can’t get it right if steps are not taken.
“We need to think before we implement that particular process. I’m saddened that everything is not going to work and then we go back to square zero,” he said.