By Olalekan Awojodu
The Executive Director of the Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre, Auwal Musa Rafsanjani has hailed President Muhammadu Buhari for assenting the electoral bill into law.
The CISLAC boss also hailed the National Assembly, Media, CSO and Nigerians for the collective success over the development.
In a statement issued on Friday, the CISLAC boss who doubles as Chairman Transition Monitoring Group noted that under democracy, people can not be suppressed by the few interests groups, noting that CSOs will continue to demand electoral transparency in order to have good governance in Nigeria.
Rafsanjani observed that by that action, President Muhammadu Buhari has fulfilled his obligations by upholding the values of democracy and assenting the electoral bill.
This medium reported earlier that civil society organisations, and CSOs in Abuja, recently demanded Mr. President’s assent to the electoral bill amids protest.
Justifying it’s action, Mr Rafsanjani noted that the protest, which CISLAC was part of, became necessary owing to the fact that the President Buhari-led administration has declined assent to the bill twice.
According to the CISLAC helmsman, the electoral act will guarantee INEC’s financial independence, which in turn will ensure the electoral umpire gets early funding on time to prepare for election.
“Initially, we reduced the conversation of the bill to direct and indirect primaries, but it’s a lot more. If you think about early funding for the election? This electoral act provides funding for election to the electoral commission at least a year before the election.
“Why is that important, if you think about the conduct of elections, postponement of elections that we had in 2019, 2015, even 2011 were attributed to issues around elections operations and logistics management. So when INEC receives the funds early, it gives better time to plan,” Rafsanjani said.
He also noted that, “the bill has provisions that address multiple voting and voting by proxy as well as tampering with election results at the results collation centers.
“It will also give INEC the exclusive rights and independence to review results announced under duress. In other words, the bill bars politicians from influencing or harassing polling officials from declaring fabricated results.”
In the same vein, Mr Rafsanjani appealed to Nigerians to comply with the electoral law.
He also appealed to Civil Society Organisations, Media not to relent in fighting for social justice as only then would we able to achieve the Nigeria of our dreams.