President Muhammadu Buhari rejected the amended electoral bill because he found its prescribed reforms unsustainable, says the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami.
“What you should understand about (the) leadership of the country most especially as it regards President Muhammadu Buhari on any law presented to him for signing, the president is entitled to certain rights,” argued Mr Malami. ”If you are talking about security, there is also what is expected from him. The president has to consider laws that are sustainable.”
Mr Malami, who disclosed this during a phone-in programme on Radio Kano, maintained that the electoral bill had excessive cost implications.
According to the justice minister, Mr Buhari’s job “is that of politics, economy, business, security, legislation, politicians and non-politicians.”
”This is because the leadership of the country is not for the politicians alone. It is a leadership that affects (the) social life of the people, their religion, economy, security and others,” he explained. “This is contrary to the leadership of the legislators, which is solely political.”
Mr Malami insisted that lawmakers were only concerned about their political inclination while the president’s concerns were based on the entire lives of Nigerians.
”He is after satisfying the interest of the over 200 million Nigerians he is serving and not a particular sector,” the minister stressed.
On the financial burden in the new electoral bill rejected by Mr Buhari, the AGF stated that INEC “requires N305 billion for the 2022 general elections.”
He added, “Now if the general election, which is not the newly proposed electoral system, will cost this much, how much will it cost to do the same election in the APC? It might cost at least N200 billion because it will involve everyone.”
He reasoned further that “it is assumed that every political party will spend N200 billion, how much will then be spent in conducting the same primary election in 18 political parties just to produce a qualified candidate?”
He asserted that “all the people want are good projects; good road from Abuja to Kano, portable drinking water, good education, school feeding programme,” among other social amenities.
“Are you fair to the 160 million Nigerians using their wealth just to conduct (a) primary election to produce a party candidate, despite other demands by the public?” Mr Malami argued. “My answer to this is that to spend this N305 billion that will be given to the INEC and the about N200 billion to be given to the political parties is not fair to the remaining 160 million Nigerians who have no business about politics and political appointments. Their business is just a better life in Nigeria. This is the issue of cost implications.”
Source: Peoples Gazette