Nigeria’s Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami has stated the reason President Muhammdu Buhari failed to sign the Electoral Bill, citing that it supports insecurity and is discriminatory.
The Minister revealed this on Monday during a phone-in programme on Radio Kano, according to the News Agency of Nigeria.
He added that the Bill would have had excessive cost implications, and would not have been in the interest of Nigerians as it would create more chaos in Nigerian politics.
What the AGF is saying
Mr Malami said, “What you should understand about 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.
”When you talk about politics he has rights, if you talk about economy the business community also have rights on him, if you are talking about 60 per cent of Nigerians that are not politicians, if you talk about the economy he also has rights.
”if you are talking about security, there is also what is expected from him. The president has to consider laws that are sustainable.
“The job of the president is that of politics, economy, business, security, legislations, politicians and non-politicians.
”This is because the leadership of the country is not for the politicians alone, it is a leadership that affects social life of the people, their religion, economy, security and others.
”This is contrary to the leadership of the legislators which is solely political,” he said.
He added that lawmakers are only concerned about their political inclination while the president is concerned about the entire lives of Nigerians made up of politicians and non-politicians, adding that the President is looking out for the interest of over 200 million Nigerians he is serving and not a particular sector.
On the financial burden in the new electoral bill rejected by the president, Malami said:
”Today INEC requires N305 billion for the 2022 general elections. 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.
”Although the good side of the law is that INEC is required to monitor it.
“Therefore if 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?
“ It might cost at least N200 billion because it will involve everyone, Although the good side of the law is that INEC is required to monitor it.”
”Let’s assume there are about 60 million politicians in the country, what about the remaining over 160 million Nigerians who have nothing to do with politics? Are you fair to them?
“Are you fair to the 160 million Nigerians using their wealth just to conduct primary election to produce a party candidate, despite other demands by the public?
He urged 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 in politics and political appointments.
What you should know
Recall Nairametrics reported last week that the Nigerian Senate has stated that it will wait for the House of Representatives to resume before taking an official decision on the President’s refusal to assent to the Electoral Bill.