The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says the speedy passage of the electoral bill is crucial to its preparations for future elections.
Mahmood Yakubu, INEC chairman, said this on Tuesday during the commission’s quarterly consultative meeting with political parties in Abuja.
President Muhammadu Buhari had withheld assent to the bill on the ground that the recommendation of direct primaries for political parties “violates the spirit of democracy”.
Senate President Ahmad Lawan, had, however, said the bill will be top on the national assembly’s agenda once it reconvenes.
Speaking on Tuesday, Yakubu said the commission is encouraged by Lawan’s assurance to give priority attention to the bill.
“We look forward to a speedy passage of the bill, which is crucial to our preparations for future elections,” he said.
“As soon as it is signed into law, the commission will quickly release the timetable and schedule of activities for the 2023 general election based on the new law.”
The chairman also said six bye-elections in four states are scheduled to hold on February 26.
The pending bye-elections are Akure north/Akure south federal constituency, Ondo; Jos north/Bassa federal constituency, Plateau; Pankshin south constituency, Plateau; Ogoja/Yala federal constituency, Cross River; Akpabuyo state constituency, Cross River; and Ngor-Okpala state constituency, Imo.
“The detailed timetable is already uploaded to our website and social media platforms. Hard copies are also included in your folders for this meeting,” he said.
“Meanwhile, the commission has also decided that the suspended Ekiti east I state constituency bye-election will be combined with the state governorship election holding on June 18, 2022.
“For the Osun state governorship election, primaries will hold from February 16, to March 12, 2022.”