The Transition Monitoring Group (TMG), a coalition of over 400 Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), yesterday, advocated strict adherence to due process in amending the Electoral Act.
The group said the interest of the country should be paramount in carrying out the process, calling on President Muhammadu Buhari and the National Assembly to thread with caution.
It would be recalled that the National Assembly had amended the Electoral Act 2006 re-ordering the 2019 elections timetable released by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
While INEC fixed the presidential and National Assembly elections for February 16 and March 2, 2019 for governorship and state assembly elections, the Senate and the House of Representatives reordered the elections sequence in such a way that the presidential election will hold last.
The elections observation group Chairperson, Dr. Abiola Akiyode-Afolabi, expressed worry about the unfolding controversy, warning that “in the best interest of the Nigerian voter, political brinkmanship should determine the outcome of the amendment process.”
A statement signed by TMG Communication Officer, Olusola Babalola, quoted Akiyode-Afolabi as saying, “As things stand now, TMG is concerned that the controversy trailing the amendment process is driven more by narrow political calculations than the push for an electoral process that is credible and one which guarantees the supremacy of the voices of the Nigerian electorate.”
Akiyode-Afolabi, therefore, called on political actors from the executive and legislative arms to ensure that the rule of law prevailed as they advanced their various positions on the amendment process.
“It is imperative to make the Nigerian electoral system better, and it is our considered view that the best way out of the logjam is to put the quest of the Nigerian voter for free, fair and credible elections at the forefront of the discussions,” the statement said.