Electoral bill rejection: Malami selfish, seeking to become governor through back door — Kuye

Posted by News Express | 1 January 2022 | 414 times

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•Abubakar Malami


The member representing Somolu Federal Constituency of Lagos State has berated the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, AGF, Abubarkar Malami over his stance on the rejected electoral bill.

He said that the minister’s utterance where he tagged the National Assembly as insensitive in the passage of the electoral bill was done in bad taste.

The Lawmaker who is also the Chairman, Adhoc Committee investigating Federal Government’s abandoned properties said that all attempts to pitch the executive against the legislature must be resisted by all.

It will be recalled that President Muhammadu Buhari had upon the transmission of the bill to him for assent rejected the bill, picking holes in the inclusion of the clause which compelled political parties to adopt a direct primary mode of selecting their candidates for elections.

The rejection was however premised on a piece of advice by Malami.

In a statement he personally signed and made available to Journalists in Abuja on Friday, Kuye lambasted the AGF, saying that in trying to justify his advice to the President, Malami gave an impression of someone who was supporting money bags to win election at all cost and also desperate in becoming a governor of his state through the back door.

The Lawmaker queried Malami’s position on particularly the electoral bill, reminding him of other people oriented bills passed into law by the national parliament.

Kuye’s statement read thus: “The Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Malam Abubakar Malami has said that the National Assembly’s interest in passing laws is solely political in the wake of recent passage of the electoral bill, as he seeks to justify his current advise to the President Muhammed Buhari to withhold his assent to the bill.

“In his diatribe, he posited that the lawmakers are only concerned about their political inclination and that their legislative activities, especially with the electoral bill that was passed is insensitive, discriminatory and supports insecurity. 

“While the minister is entitled to his opinion, we must resist the attempt to pitch the executive against legislature while denigrating the synergy that has existed between both arms of government. 

“If the impact of lawmaking is only political, as Mr Malami has posited, the landmark Petroleum Industry Bill that have eluded many administration since 2003, would still be in the dustbin of executive-legislative bickering. 

“This singular achievement of the 9th assembly under the joint leadership of the Speaker, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila and the Senate President, Senator Ahmed Lawan, has opened up petroleum industry and made the country’s oil and gas sector competitive globally, as the accruing benefits have continue to unravel.  Other extractive industry initiatives have been backed up with legislation that have pushed to institutionalize transparency, accountability and local ingenuity. 

“While at it, the laws governing corporate and allied matters got extensive overhauling by this assembly and it has since revolutionized businesses in the country and impacted the ease of doing business. These laws are apolitical and have affected all Nigerians. 

“Apparently, the Minister has also forgotten that it was earlier in the year that a new reformed policing architecture was made possible through the Police Reform Act 2021, that captured the yearnings and aspirations of Nigerians for a better, friendlier and more robust policing after the debacle of endsars protest in November 2020 and its attendant social political upheavals. 

“If Malam Malami has forgotten the broad impact of these few legislations and he is tagging the national assembly legislative functions as political he needs to be reminded. Perhaps he has forgotten his rudimentary social studies. 

“Or how would an Attorney General of the Federation surmise that an electoral bill that allows for all members of a party to have a say in selecting who becomes their party flag bearer be described as supporting insecurity and discriminatory for President Muhammed Buhari to sign into law. 

“What are the cost implications to parties like APC who recently had a nationwide membership registration exercise? Or how does APC, for example reconcile the Minister’s cry of expensive direct primaries with this recent membership drive? How can direct primaries be expensive when the party already has databases and mechanisms in place where its members can vote online and from the comfort of their homes. Or is the APC admitting through the minister that its recent registration of members is just a waste of resources and an avenue to just buy time for the caretaker committee to remain in office?

“Also, is the Attorney General of The Federation saying democracy is not participatory anymore as he seeks to scuttle the will of various party faithfuls and exclude them from having a say? 

With these developments, direct primaries should encourage all political parties to have a digital online registration of members and make provisions for online voting for registered members. 

“It is obvious that the minister is pandering to the political elites especially the money bags who have concluded that more money will be needed to get things to go their way with direct primaries. Also, it is not impossible that he is thinking of his own vaunted gubernatorial ambition in his state. Let him test his popularity with the party loyalists in his state first and not seek to come in through the back door by denying Nigerians the next step in the evolution of their democracy”. (Saturday Vanguard)


Source: News Express

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