Senate president Bukola Saraki and Yakubu Dogara, speaker of the house of representatives, have vowed to respond “appropriately” to the rejection of the amended electoral act.
President Muhammadu Buhari witheld his assent to a bill seeking to amend the act — after it was passed by both chambers of the national assembly. One of the reasons he cited for withholding his assent is that the amendment infringes on the powers of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). Reports, however, emerged that Saraki and Dogara disagreed over how to respond to the rejection. But the duo denied the reports, saying they are “on the same page” on the matter.
They made this known in a statement signed by Yusuph Olaniyonu and Turaki Hassan, their spokesmen. It read: “Our attention has been drawn to reports in a national daily insinuating that there was a disagreement between Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki and Speaker, Rt. Hon. Yakubu Dogara, over how both chambers of the national assembly will react to the withholding of assent by President Muhammadu Buhari on the electoral act amendment bill.
We wish to inform the public that there is no such disagreement between the two leaders, and indeed the two chambers of the national assembly. The senate president and the speaker, as heads of the two chambers of the national assembly and representing the views of their colleagues, will want everybody to know that they are on the same page on what is the appropriate reaction to the president’s withholding of assent on the Electoral Act amendment bill. There is no disagreement between the two chambers as well as their presiding officers. The leadership of the two chambers.”
They added that the issue is not personal as is also being speculated, rather, “it is about deepening democracy.”