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Kwankwaso Reveals Why Buhari, NASS Won’t Sign Electoral Act Amended Bill

A former Governor of Kano State, Senator Rabiu Kwankwaso, says President Muhammadu Buhari, will not sign the Electoral Act amendment bill because governors have pressured him not to approve the provision for direct primary.

Kwankwaso said this during a chat with reporters ahead of the National Assembly’s recess.

The former governor said indeed, mandatory direct primaries would provide a level playing field and ensure that popular candidates emerge.

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He, however, said because such mandatory primaries could make governors less powerful, they would not support it.

The ex-lawmaker said, “In 1999, I was elected as the candidate of the PDP through direct primary but along the line, we realised that there were issues with the direct primary. It is very cumbersome; some weaknesses here and there but after practising the indirect primary, I can easily compare and say the direct one is more democratic and better than the indirect.

“But one thing that I believe is that the governors and other powerful people will never want to approve direct primary because the power will get out of the government houses and land in the hands of the voters and members of the party. So, they will never want it. For me, I find it extremely difficult to see how the President will sign it.”

When asked if he was sure that Buhari would not sign the bill, Kwankwaso said the President would not sign it since the APC made efforts to ensure that the National Assembly did not sign it last month.

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“I don’t think so because even though some people are saying that he had a hand in what happened in the National Assembly and people have got reasons to believe that. But the people around will never want that power to get out of their hands. But you can wait and see,” the ex-governor said.

When asked if the National Assembly would override the President’s veto in the event that he refused to sign the bill, Kwankwaso, who is a former Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, said the current National Assembly had portrayed itself as an extension of the executive arm of government.

The ex-governor said since the Senate had said all of Buhari’s requests were good for Nigeria, it means that they would not oppose the President’s decision.

On overriding the President’s veto, Kwankwaso said, “I don’t think so. You see, I think the National Assembly especially the Senate shot itself in the foot by believing that whatever the President brings is good. In that case, why are they there? They would have saved the country trillions of naira.

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“Even the President is capable of making mistakes despite having the best of intentions. And it is the responsibility of the National Assembly to say this place shouldn’t be like this and it should be like that. And a good President will take it kindly and correct it. And that is why in this type of democracy, the National Assembly is there for checks and balances. But when you say whatever he brings is good, then there is a problem. I think that is what I see.”

 

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