THE Presidency assured Nigerians that President Muhammadu Buhari is not against e-voting and the use of card readers in the 2019 general election.
This was just as the presidency urged the National Assembly to cut short its recess and reconvene, to attend to the Electoral (Amendment) Bill.
Buhari’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, made these known in a statement, yesterday.
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The presidency also kicked against allegations from ‘opposition politicians’ creating “the impression that Buhari is against e-voting and the use of card reader in the 2019 elections.”
President Buhari had, for the third time, last week, declined assent to the Electoral Act Amendment Bill, 2018, amid irregularities and draft issues.
Shehu said: “We appeal to the National Assembly to reconvene as soon as possible to consider and approve the necessary corrections to the amended Electoral Act.
“We wish to state in clear and unambiguous terms that the issue of e-voting and use of card reader was never an issue for the president’s decision to decline assent to the Bill.
“It is equally important that this issue was not raised either by the Executive or the Legislature in the recent reviews.
“Moreover, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) adoption of e-voting reforms is enshrined in the 2015 Amendment Act to the Electoral Reform Act.
“Card reader is, therefore, a settled matter.
“The president’s recent decision to decline assent to the Bill has no effect whatsoever on INEC’s use of card reader.
“The president is not in confrontation with the parliament on this issue. He has asked his officials to dialogue with the legislature; for the corrections to be effected.
“An issue has been raised by the president concerning some ill-prepared and flawed parts of the bill for which corrections needed to be made to allow for his signature. The president wanted engagement with the parliament for the corrections to be effected so that, at the end of the day, both arms of government will be happy with the fact that we have a good electoral law in place.”