The Delta State Civil Society Organizations Forum (DELCOF), an umbrella body of non-state actors with over 250 civil society organizations in Delta State on Sunday described the signing of the Amended Electoral Bill into law by the President, Major-General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.) as “a great achievement and good omen for Nigerian citizens”.
DELCOF, in a press statement issued by its Convener, Comrade Sheriff Mulade, copies of which were made available to journalists in Warri, said that the Act “will no doubt, lead Nigeria towards promoting good governance and transparent process in electoral activities for true democracy to prevail”.
While commending the President, Major-General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.) for signing the amended electoral bill into law, the DELCOF leadership noted that the Act is “one of the greatest legacies achieved by his government”.
“This new electoral Law which incorporates groundbreaking provisions that will enhance the credibility of Nigeria’s electoral process signifies a new era in the history of elections in Nigeria. The new amended electoral law is a product of consistent citizen actions and effective partnerships towards reforming Nigeria’s electoral process. History will reckon with this dedication towards entrenching democracy in Nigeria”, the statement quoted Mulade as saying.
It also quoted Dr Agboro Andrew, Chairman of the forum as submitting that the signing of the amended electoral act “indicates a new era of our democracy and it further shows the commitment of Nigerians consistency in their demand for free, fair, inclusive, transparent and credible elections”.
It read partly, “Interestingly, despite the complaints from President Muhamadu Buhari about a Section of the Bill – Clause 84(12). which reads, “No political appointee at any level shall be a voting delegate or be voted for at the Convention or Congress of any political party for the purpose of the nomination of candidates for any election, the President still gave his assent to the signing of the Amended electoral bill into law”.
“For me, this indicates a new era of our democracy and it further shows the commitment of Nigerians consistency in their demand for free, fair, inclusive, transparent and credible elections.
“Civil society and other election stakeholders have advocated for improvements to the electoral process. Particularly, the use of technology in elections to improve efficiency and transparency.
“We applaud all Media practitioners and CSOs for their level of active participation in engaging the electoral reform process. The Amended Electoral Act analyses timelines for election activities. In a swift response to Mr President’s signing of the electoral Bill, INEC as a matter of urgency has equally announced dates for the 2023 General Elections. All of these I must say portends a good omen for Nigerians and by extension Africa”, Dr Agboro Andrew, DELCOF Boss stated.
“Pastor Edewor Egedegbe, co-convener of the civil society organizations forum Delta State, who doubles as Coordinator, Transition Monitoring Group TMG Delta State, commended the National Assembly for reworking the legislation which he said comes with a great deal of improvement from the previous Electoral Bill.
“He commended the National Assembly responsiveness in ensuring legislation that substantially reflects the will of Nigerians. He then advised that the national assembly should urgently make available gazetted copies of the Electoral Law in order for citizens to get themselves familiarized with its provisions and support its implementation by massive enlightenment for citizens for better comprehension well ahead of the forthcoming circle/general elections.
“We commend the President for this positive and courageous step. Mr President Buhari has kept one of his promises that he intends to leave Nigeria’s electoral framework better than he met it”.