Jonathan Signs Electoral Act, INEC Gets Cash For Polls
San Francisco, August 20, (THEWILL) – President Goodluck Jonathan today finally signed the amended Electoral Act into law this morning in Abuja.
President Jonathan signed the bill in the presence of Vice President, Namadi Sambo; Speaker of the House of Representatives, Honourable Dimeji Bankole; Senate Majority Leader, Senator Teslim Folarin; Secretary to the Government of Federation, Alhaji Ahmed Yayale; Attorney General of the Federation, Mr. Mohammed Adoke, SAN; Finance Minister, Mr. Segun Aganga and the Special Adviser to President on National Assembly Matters, Senator Mohammed Abba-Aji.
The National Assembly had accused the president of stalling the 2011 election by delaying his assent to the bill.
"The Act we have just signed today introduces staggered elections in Section 25, the mood and manner of conducting party primaries and respect for party autonomy in Section 87 and among others," President Jonathan said.
With this development, all is clear for INEC to receive its funds for the polls and begin the process of voters registration.
The president said the ceremony is evidence that the administration is committed to electoral reforms.
"I have said time and again that I will not consider my personal interest or the benefit of my own political party in doing that which will secure credible elections for our people.
"Our tomorrow will find excuse for our failures today especially if such failures are avoidable. As Nigerians, we must not allow ourselves to be seduced by apathy and elections injustice, the reward for such lethargy will undoubtedly be instability and underdevelopment.
"Let us all commit to the protection of integrity of the electoral process as guaranteed under the law. Henceforth, the sanctity of the process should be supreme respect. The commitment of this administration to credible elections remains an article of faith.
"Indeed, it is my wish that election will going forward be a festival of democracy and will be conducted peacefully as we often witness in some other parts of the world, " the president assured.
Speaking to journalists after the signing ceremony, Minister of Finance, Mr. Olusegun Aganga said the ministry has funded INEC’s account.
"I am delighted to announce to say that the amount due was released as soon as the supplementary budget was signed by the President.
"I, as Finance minister, it's my job to implement the funding side of it and I need to assure the INEC chairman every moment that whatever he needs in terms of financial support I will make it available, "Aganga said.