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Buhari yet to sign Electoral Act Amendment Bill — Source

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President Returns After Abu Dhabi Visit
• Nigeria To Partner with UAE On Security, Counterterrorism, Trade

There are indications that President Muhammadu Buhari has not signed the Electoral Act Amendment Bill, contrary to the notion in some quarters.

The amendment is said to be important for the participation of statutory delegates at the forthcoming political parties’ primaries and national conventions respectively. This is because the statutory delegates of political parties stand the risk of exclusion from the exercises if the President does not sign the amendment Bill latest today. 

Specifically, some online platforms, yesterday, published a story claiming that the President had already signed the bill, which was transmitted to him last week Friday. However, some Presidency officials have written the reports off, describing them as untrue, arguing that the bill could not have been signed-in secret, especially as the President had been out of the country in the last 48 hours and only returned to the country late yesterday.

Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, who just returned to the country with the President, said the news of the signing, which had already gone viral on social media, was not to his knowledge, saying “it is news to me too.”

Also speaking on the controversy, Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly matters, House of Representatives, Umar El-Yakub, said the viral news could not be true, citing reasons for his conclusion.

According to El-Yakub, the President “couldn’t have signed it yesterday because he was out of the country and he couldn’t have signed already because he is just entering the country. “I also cannot tell you that he will still not sign it or will not sign it. He is the President. But if it will be signed later, we will all know,” he said.

Meanwhile, the President, yesterday evening, returned to Abuja after a two-day visit to Abu Dhabi, the United Arab Emirates (UAE). He landed at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, at about 4 pm, along with the members of his entourage.

While in Abu Dhabi, President Buhari met the new President of the UAE, His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, to whom he conveyed Nigeria’s condolences on the passing of the former president and Ruler of Abu Dhabi, His Highness, Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan. Buhari also joined the Jummah prayers during which prayers were offered for the repose of the soul of the late President of UAE, Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, on Friday.

During a short interaction with Sheikh Zayed Al Nahyan, the new President of the UAE, President Buhari expressed his condolences and that of Nigeria on the demise of the late President Sheikh Khalifah and congratulated the new President on his election.

Buhari further expressed the hope that under Sheikh Mohamed, the two countries will continue to actively champion a vision of sustainable security, strengthen counterterrorism cooperation, facilitate trade and investment, and promote prosperity and development.

The President was accompanied by the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Amb. Zubairu Dada, the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof. Isa Ali Pantami, the Minister of Federal Capital Territory, Mohammed Bello, and the Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika.  Other members of his delegation were the National Security Adviser, Maj. Gen. Mohammed Monguno (Rtd) and the Director-General, National Intelligence Agency, Ambassador Ahmed Rufai Abubakar.