There are indications on Saturday that the Electoral Act amendment Bill  may have been assented to by President Muhammadu Buhari.

The Bill was recently transmitted to him by the National Assembly.

The amendment is crucial to the participation of statutory delegates at the primaries and national convention of political parties.

They have been excluded from voting and being voted for during the exercises in the previous amendment signed into law by the President.

This caused the National Assembly to hurriedly passed the latest amendment as the political parties in the process of conducting their primaries and convention to elect their state, national assembly, governorship and presidential candidates.

The statutory delegates of political parties stand the risk of exclusion from the exercises if the President does not sign the amendment bill by Sunday.

Since they are required by the Electoral Act to submit the lists of their delegates to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) seven days to the national convention, the parties can only make do with elected delegates.

This may have been averted going by the assertion of the Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly (Senate), Senator Jide Omoworare, had hinted that the President “should have signed.”

He had been asked to confirm whether or not President Buhari had indeed assented to the latest amendment.

However, to avoid running afoul of the Electoral Act should the President not sign the bill, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has now decided that only democratically elected delegates can vote in its primaries and national convention, which it will use the indirect mode to conduct.

Therefore, only the three ad-hoc delegates elected per ward and one national delegate elected in the local government areas across the country are eligible to vote at the exercises.

The main opposition party made the clarification on Saturday in a statement by Hon. Umar M. Bature, the National Organizing Secretary.

The party also announced the shifting of its primaries to elect State House of Assembly candidates.

The State Assembly primaries were moved from Saturday, May 21, 2022, to Sunday, May 22, 2022, the same day that the House of Representatives will take place.

The statement reads: “By virtue of Section 84 (8) of the Electoral Act, 2022, delegates to vote at the Indirect Primaries and National Convention of political parties to elect candidates for elections shall be those democratically elected for that purpose only.

“Consequently those qualified and eligible to vote as delegates in the forthcoming Primaries and National Convention of our great Party, the PDP are the three (3) AD-HOC Delegates per ward, elected at the Ward Congresses and one (1) National Delegate per Local Government, elected at the Local Government Area Congresses.

“Furthermore, the NWC wishes to inform our Party members that the State Houses of Assembly Primaries to elect our State House of Assembly candidates, earlier scheduled for Saturday, May 21, 2022, will now hold on Sunday, May 22, 2022, from 8:00 am to 12 noon; while the House of Representatives Primaries to elect our House of Representatives candidates will also hold on Sunday, May 22, 2022, from 2:00 pm.

“All aspirants, critical stakeholders, leaders and teeming members of our Party should please take note.”

The PDP’s position is not unconnected with the delay by President Muhammadu Buhari to sign the fresh amendment to the Electoral Act into law.

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