A coalition of 14 Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) has expressed concern over delay in the passage of the Electoral Act Amendment Bill, urging the National Assembly to fast track its passage.
Director of Programmes, Yiaga Africa, Ms Cynthia Mbamalu, said on Tuesday in Abuja at a news conference on Electoral Reform.
Mbamalu, also Programmes Director, Yiaga Africa, said that reforming the electoral legal framework for credible elections was a top priority, urging the National Assembly to ensure that the bill was passed in the shortest possible time.
She said that in December 2020, the National Assembly held a public hearing on the Bill which provided an opportunity for citizens and stakeholders to participate and make their inputes to the electoral reform process.
“The urgent need for reforming the Electoral Legal Framework is founded on the broad-based consensus by Nigerian citizens’ and electoral stakeholders on the need for a more credible and improved electoral process.
“A process that will encourage active citizens’ participation and guarantee their rights in electing leaders and representatives that will provide good governance by addressing gaps in the current electoral legal framework.
“The Senate President at that time promised Nigerians a new Electoral Act by March 2021. That timeline has come and gone!!!
“Election remain the fulcrum and constant cardinal feature in a democracy; It is important to protect all conditions and instruments required to conduct free, fair and credible election to ensure that the sovereign will of the people prevail always,‘’ Mbamalu said.
She said that the seeming lack of progress at the National Assembly on the Electoral Act Amendment bill was worrisome.