SMART Adeyemi, the lawmaker representing Kogi West in the National Assembly under the All Progressives Congress (APC) has proposed a bill seeking to end the nomination of candidates of the same religion for president and vice presidential positions in the country.
According to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), Adeyemi disclosed this at a news conference in Abuja on Sunday.
He said there was a need to forestall the contentious issues surrounding the nomination of candidates of the same religion by political parties after the 2023 presidential election.
The bill titled ‘A Bill for an Act to amend the Electoral Act 2022 and for other related matters connected, 2022″ seeks to amend Section 84 of the Act by inserting a new Sub-section (3).
According to Adeyemi, the new Sub-section will read: “No political party shall nominate candidates of the same religion as Presidential and Vice Presidential candidates after this dispensation.”
“This bill may be cited as Electoral Act 2022 (Amendment) Bill, 2022,” he added.
Adeyemi said the bill seeks to amend the Electoral Act 2022 to promote religious harmony in the country by discouraging political parties from fielding running mates of the same religion as the presidential candidate.
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“I hereby propose an 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.
“For me as a statesman, I owe myself the responsibility to speak the truth at all times, irrespective of mischievous misinterpretations.”
Adeyemi said he supported the position of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) on the contentious issue of Muslim-Muslim ticket.
He, however, said he was fully in support of the candidacy of Bola Tinubu and Kashim Shettima as APC candidates for the 2023 presidential election, given their “sterling performances and pedigrees in governance”.
”Let me say very clearly that I am in total support of the issues and concerns raised by the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN). I am a practising Christian.
”But we must not confront these issues in such a manner that will obstruct the fabric of our national unity, peace and stability which we have all fought very hard to keep.
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“Yes, 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.
“It must not be seen that there are no Christians who are eminently qualified to occupy any of these positions,” he added.
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