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Published On: Wed, Nov 22nd, 2017

Buhari: I’m determined to deliver free, fair elections

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•Withholds assent to 2 bills

By Lawrence Olaoye and Christiana Ekpa Abuja

President Muhammadu Buhari has restated his determination to ensure that elections conducted under his administration are free and fair.
This is coming as he congratulated the Anambra state governor, Willie Obiano, for his re-election after the November 18th governorship poll in the state.
Buhari also charged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to improve on its logistics and other identified lapses in the Anambra governorship election ahead of the 2019 general election.
The President in a statement made available to newsmen yesterday by his Special Adviser on media and publicity, Femi Adesina, commended the people of Anambra State, the governorship candidates, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), election observers as well as security agencies and other stakeholders, on the peaceful conduct of the November 18 gubernatorial election in the state.
According to the President, “the processes leading to the election and its peaceful conduct and outcome, have shown that our electoral reform is bearing positive fruits. This is very encouraging and I am determined to give Nigeria free and fair elections, no matter which way the results swing.”
He particularly expressed delight at the conduct of the candidates post-election results, describing it as “heart-warming and a renewal of confidence in the sanctity of the ballot which deepens our nation’s democracy.”
Buhari urged INEC to improve on areas of logistics as the nation braces for coming governorship elections and the main general elections in 2019.
The President while congratulating Governor Willie Obiano on his re-election, urged him to rededicate himself to building on his achievements that endeared him to the electorate and swayed the overwhelming majority of votes in his favour.
President Buhari assured the Governor-elect that the Federal Government is ready to work with him for the greater harmony, peace and development of not only Anambra State but the entire country.
He wished the returning governor a successful new term in office. President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday formerly wrote to the Senate, informing the Upper Chamber of his decision to withhold assent to two Bills sent to him for signing into law.
The rejected Bills are Chartered Institute of Treasury Management and the Federal University of Wukari in Taraba state.
It will be recalled that in February, this year, while acting as President when President Buhari was abroad for medical treatment, Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo had similarly withheld assent to four bills.
The bills were Dangerous Drugs (Amendment) Bill 2016, National Lottery (Amendment) Bill 2016, Agricultural Credit Guarantee Scheme Fund (Amendment) Bill 2016, and the Currency Conversion (Freezing Orders) (Amendment) Bill 2016 The President’s rejection of the Bills was contained in separate letters 8th November 2017 and read by the Senate president Bukola Saraki.
According to Buhari, he withheld assent to the bills due to certain words and phrases in it which are not appropriate and “Pursuant to Section 58(4) of the Constitution.

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