President Muhammadu Buhari on Saturday afternoon signed into law, the recently amended 2022 electoral act.
The two Chambers of the National Assembly, had in an accelerated passage, amended Section 84(8) of the Electoral Act, which initially allowed only elected delegates of a party to participate in the conventions or other party meetings.
The National Assembly passed the amendment after consideration of a bill titled: “A Bill for an Act to amend the Electoral Act No 13, 2022; and for Related Matters (HB. 1984).
Section 84(8) of the Electoral Act does not provide for the participation of what is generally known as statutory delegates in the conventions, congresses or meetings of political parties.
According to Section 84 (8) of the Electoral Amendment Act, a political party that adopts the system of indirect primaries for the choice of its candidates shall clearly outline in its constitution and rules the procedure for the democratic election of delegates.
This according to the Act is to vote at the convention, congress or meeting, in addition to statutory delegates already prescribed in the constitution of the party.
The statutory delegates include councillors, local government chairmen and their vices, political party chairmen in all the 774 LGAs, state and federal lawmakers.
Others are, Governors and their Deputies, President and Vice President, political parties’ National Working Committee members, state party chairmen and secretaries.
The amendment allowed statutory delegates, in addition to the delegates elected by various political parties at congresses and conventions to elect candidates for various political offices.
However, with few days left for the primaries to take place, politicians have mounted pressure on the president to sign the Amended Act in order to avert crisis.
The bill was eventually signed on Saturday, May 22, 2022.
This was confirmed by a member of the House of Representatives, Emeka Chinedu, representing Ahiazu/ Ezinihittee Mbaise federal constituency in the House of Representatives.
Speaking with newsmen, Chinedu said, “I can confirm to you that Mr President signed the bill into law this afternoon and we are all happy about it, as it will give us and other statutory delegates the power to vote at the primaries.
“The amendment was swiftly done by the national assembly members to legally provide a place in the Act for statutory delegates of political parties to vote during their congresses and conventions.
“It will indeed do a lot of good for the upcoming party primaries.