Chidi Samuel || Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki, and Speaker of the House of Representative, Yakubu Dogara, on Saturday dismissed reports of disagreement between them on the way forward for the vetoed electoral act amendment act by President Mohammadu Buhari as they vowed to jointly give an appropriate response on the President’s rejection of the act.
Yusuph Olaniyonu and Turaki Hassan, the spokesmen for the two leaders stated this in a statement on Saturday.
The statement stated that contrary to reports that both National Assembly leaders are divided over the President’s position to the amended bill, Saraki and Dogara noted that they are working “in agreement on what to do”.
According to the statement, both Saraki and Dogara said that the move by the lawmakers to change the sequence in which elections are conducted was not personal but in the interest of the nation’s democracy.
Presidential and National Assembly elections are always conducted (on the same day) before other polls, while the governorship and State Houses of Assembly elections follow.
The statement read, Our attention has been drawn to reports in a national daily insinuating that there was a disagreement between Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki and Speaker, Rt. Hon. Yakubu Dogara, over how both chambers of the National Assembly will react to the withholding of assent by President Muhammadu Buhari on the Electoral Act Amendment Bill.
We wish to inform the public that there is no such disagreement between the two leaders, and indeed the two chambers of the National Assembly.
“The Senate President and the Speaker, as heads of the two chambers of the National Assembly and representing the views of their colleagues, will want everybody to know that they are on the same page on what is the appropriate reaction to the President’s withholding of assent on the Electoral Act amendment bill.
“There is no disagreement between the two chambers as well as their presiding officers. The leadership of the two chambers constantly hold discussions and are in agreement on what to do, how to do it, when to do it and why it must be done.
“The issue at stake is not personal. It is about deepening democracy. It is about improving our democracy and the National Assembly is on firm constitutional and legal grounds to amend the law as well as make decisions in the manner they have been responding.
“We see that story and the insinuations contained in it as a mere distraction and unnecessary misrepresentation aimed at creating division in the Federal Legislature. The Senate President, Speaker and their colleagues urge members of the public to discountenance the report.