By Joseph Ayinde
Senate spokesman Ajibola Basiru has said the National Assembly will take the best decision for Nigerians, irrespective of President Muhammadu Buhari’s disposition towards the Electoral Bill.
On November 19, the National Assembly transmitted the Electoral Act Amendment Bill to the President for assent.
According to the constitution, the President has 30 days within which he is expected to assent to a Bill to become law.
The National Assembly also has a provision to override a presidential veto by two-thirds vote in a case where the President fails to sign the Bill into law within the specified 30 days.
In the case of the Electoral Bill, the deadline for the presidential assent is December 19.
Reacting to the development yesterday on a Channels Television programme “Sunrise Daily”, Bashiru said the National assembly would not go on war path with the President over the Electoral Bill.
But he said the legislature would do what is the best for Nigeria on the Electoral Bill, irrespective of the Executive’s position.
“When the President takes the decision, whatever the generality of the National Assembly thinks, we all will know. I think it is too early to seek to put us on a war path with the President.
“We will take a decision we think is in the best interest of the country, irrespective of the attitude the President or Executive shows to the Electoral Bill,” he said.
Reacting to the description of the National Assembly as the rubber stamp of the Executive, Basiru said: “If making law for the progress of the country is considered to be a rubber stamp, then we agree that we are a rubber stamp National Assembly.
“If the idea of seeing the National Assembly as an opposition parliament is what some people expected, we are happy to disappoint such people. Our job is clearly cut out for us by Section 4 of the Constitution.
“The National Assembly today is a bipartisan legislative assembly whereby we have members from the ruling party (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). Our decisions are taken not on the basis of partisan consideration but on the basis of the general consideration of the people.
“For those that see the National Assembly as a fighting organisation, I think we are happy to disappoint them. We are a conglomerate of Nigerians elected to represent the Nigerian people for the purpose of lawmaking.”