Independent candidacy Bill passes first reading in Senate

Posted by Mayowa Okekale, Abuja | 10 March 2016 | 2,395 times

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The Bill to provide for Independent Candidacy in the Nigeria political system was on the floor of the Senate, today, a Bill re-introduced by the Lawmaker representing Anambra North Senatorial District, Senator Stella Oduah.

Entitled: ‘1999 Constitution of Nigeria (Alteration) Bill 2016 (SB. 228)’ in the tradition of the Senate, was introduced and read for the first time by the Senate Leader, Senator Ali Ndume and the Clerk of the Senate.

In a statement signed by the Press Secretary, Cynthia Ferdinand, and made available to News Express, “the Bill which stipulates that candidates for elections must be sponsored by political parties, seeks to amend sections 131 (c) 177 (c) 62 (2) & 106 (d) of 1999 Nigeria Constitution as amended.”

Meanwhile, on the 19th February 2016, Senator Oduah had taken to her twitter handle to declare her intentions to sponsor the bill, and practically called on her colleagues in the Senate for support when it is presented on the floor of the Senate Chamber.

According to Oduah, “the impact of this cannot be overemphasised, as it would create room for independence of candidates in Nigeria electoral system and give more well meaning citizens opportunity to participate in governance.”

She pledged to do all within her reach as a lawmaker with support from her colleagues and the 8th senate leadership to ensure that this opportunity is secured for Nigerians.

“I will do all within my power, with the support of my colleagues in the Senate, to ensure that this democratic freedom is secured for Nigerians.”

Oduah recalled that the 7th National Assembly had debated and supported the independent candidate clause and made an alteration; by inserting a new paragraph (d), which reads, “He is a member of a political party and sponsored by that party or he is an independent candidate” in the fourth amendment to the 1999, which failed to scale through before the end of the last Assembly.

•Photo shows Senator Oduah.

Source: News Express

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