UK: We’re hopeful Buhari’ll sign electoral bill

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The United Kingdom has said it hoped that President Muhammadu Buhari will assent to the Electoral Act 2010 (Amendment) Bill transmitted to him by the Federal Government.

The British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Catriona Laing, at the opening ceremony of YIAGA Convergence 3.0 on Thursday, noted that she was in Zimbabwe where she observed elections and she recognised how powerful the civil society could be.

Laing, while noting that the next generation election in Nigeria is “make or break,” said, “We honestly really believe for Nigeria, for Africa, for the World that the outcome of this election and the conduct of this election is massively important.”

According to the High Commissioner, it has been “a little bit of a rocky road” for Nigerian democracy since 1999 but the country has “stuck with it.”

She said “the world will be looking at this election” and whether it would be secured and conducted “relatively well” as well as if the electorate would accept the results and rally round the new leadership.

The diplomat added in part, “Speaking for my government and the new US administration, we are very conscious…we need to build a coalition of democracies.”

Liang said it is hoped that the Independent National Electoral Commission would deliver “a good election and the Electoral Act, hopefully, will be passed soon by the President for the electronic transmission of votes.”

She added, “But fundamentally, it needs people to register to vote.”

According to her, while the British Government has been monitoring the voter registration process and it has been going quite well, “we need to up the ante.”

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