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Senate Gets Bill to Amend Section 84, Ban Same Faith Ticket

The Nigerian Senate is set to amend section 84 of the Electoral Act 2022 to ban same-faith tickets in future presidential elections, Leadership reports.

In the bill cited , which is proposed by the Senator Smart Adeyemi, who represents Kogi West Senatorial District, he asserted that the same faith ticket is capable of tearing the country apart.

At a press conference at the National Assembly (NASS) yesterday, Adeyemi, who came with his supporters singing Islamic and Christian songs, said he is a Christian and supports the Tinubu/Shettima ticket not because they are in the same APC, but that under their leadership, “no tribe will be subdued”.

Adeyemi, who acknowledged the concern raised by the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) over the APC Muslim-Muslim ticket, said the organisation made some cogent observations, adding that “there have been oversights in key appointments in the past, which tends to keep the Christians at a disadvantage and this has caused apprehension amongst us.”

The lawmaker said the diversity of Nigeria should be balanced, adding that “for the purposes of unity, we must balance up our diversity to a large extent. And it is in view of this that I am making some proposals. I have had discussions with the leadership of the Senate, my party leadership and a good number of senators.

“The solution I hereby proposes, in order not to find ourselves in a similar situation in the future, is that the Electoral Act be amended as follows: the amendment of Section 84 of the Electoral Act 2022 by inserting a new sub-section (3) that no political party shall nominate candidates of the same religion as presidential candidates or vice-presidential candidates after this dispensation.

“I hereby propose the amendment of Section 84 of the Electoral Act 2022 by inserting a new sub-section 3, When this is accommodated, it will serve as a guide against any oversight such as this in the future as further occurrences will be deemed as silent policies which will be capable of bringing down the fabrics of the nation,” Adeyemi said while carpeting the Upper Chamber for not blocking moves by the APC to field a Muslim-Muslim ticket in the 2023 presidential elections.

The lawmaker said the Senate made “a major oversight” during the amendment of the Electoral Act.

Insisting that the failure of the Red Chamber gave the APC the opportunity to take such a decision, Adeyemi said the Senate would therefore introduce a new sub-section to Section 82 (14) of the Electoral Act 2022 to ban a repeat of such a move in subsequent elections.

“We should’ve amended the Electoral Act to prevent candidates of the same religion. We made a major blunder. But I’m proposing a Bill to prevent recurrence in future elections beyond 2023,” he said.

On his support for Tinubu and Shettima, Adeyemi said, “I have had the privilege of knowing the candidates personally before now, and my support for them as individuals is not based on the fact that they are members of the APC or because they are Muslims as I am a Christian myself.

It is simply based on my knowledge of them as individuals, it is based on their track records and antecedents.”

Lamenting the poor state of the nation, Adeyemi said, “The second challenge confronting our nation today is the issue of the poor state of our economy, the inexplicable poor exchange rate, the need for the consolidation of diversification of the economy and improving on the achievements of the current administration on infrastructural facilities such as roads, rail lines and aviation.”

Adeyemi advised Tinubu and Shettima not to disappoint Nigerians when they come to power but to have balanced appointments.

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Copyright 2022 SIGNAL. Permission to use portions of this article is granted provided appropriate credits are given to  www.signalng.com and other relevant sources.

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