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Drama as Reps alter Electoral Act

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From Ndubuisi Orji, Abuja

There was a mild drama on the floor of the House of Representatives, yesterday, as the House altered Section 84(8) of the Electoral Act to make provision for statutory delegates in political parties’ primaries to nominate candidates for the 2023 polls.

Daily Sun gathered that although the emergency session was called specifically to alter Section 84 (8) of the Electoral Act, the order paper circulated to members, had the amendment of Section 29, which deals with the time frame within which political parties can submit list of their candidates to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

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Therefore, when the Deputy Speaker, Idris Wase, who presided called for the consideration of the proposed amendment, members shouted ‘No’ repeatedly. He quickly called for the withdrawal of the order paper and replaced it with a new one, which had Section 84(8) as the proposed amendment. Nevertheless, when he called for the consideration of the bill again, member still shouted ‘no’ ‘no’.

At this point, House Leader, Alhassan Ado Doguwa, stood up to assure members that the proposed amendment to the Electoral Act was Section 84 (8) to make for the inclusion of statutory delegates for party congresses and conventions to nominate candidates for elections.

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Doguwa said: “We are here to address an issue that involves our legislative process. It is a matter that we consider fundamental. It is very critical that in our journey to nationhood, we feel it is necessary this House convene this afternoon to consider this important amendment.

“We have discussed among ourselves and upon the commitment we have made to ourselves, I urge our colleagues to move in the same direction to cure this particular injury in the body of our legal frame. It is nothing other than a simple insertion in Section 84 (8). It is for the inclusion of statutory delegates. Nothing more nothing less. I want to confirm to you that the other amendment failed in the Senate.”

Thereafter, the members agreed to the consideration of the alteration of the Electoral Act, which was taken through first and second readings, committee consideration and third reading.

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