The National Association of Nigerian Students, South-West Zone D has told the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.) that the N305bn proposed by the Independent National Electoral Commission for the 2023 general election is too much.
The Coordinator of NANS in the South-West, Emmanuel Olatunji, noted that the country might not be able to manage the implications of such expenditure during a “precarious economic climate”.
This was disclosed in an official statement in which the group noted that “The Nigerian economy is barely hanging by a thread and the requested N305bn may not be feasible at this time.
“Consequently, we admonish both INEC and the Federal Government to adopt astute patriotism to the country by looking for the nearest most appropriate solution to this potential quagmire.”
The NANS coordinator suggested that INEC should form a budget assessment committee to examine an “appropriate downward review” of the budget to a practicable figure. He noted that this would go a long way in easing the deadlock between the electoral body and the Federal Government.
Olatunji said, “We also implore the Presidency to eliminate all forms of sentiments and subjectivity in all their dealings with INEC, which includes the incorporation of INEC’s allocation into the national budget.
“Both parties will do themselves a world of good and have more time to serve the good people of Nigeria if this is adopted.
He also presented the view of the association on the electoral amendment bill that remained on the negotiating table of the National Assembly and the Presidency.
It is also expedient that we wade in on the withdrawal of presidential assent to the proposed electoral bill amendment.
“We want to intimate President Muhammadu Buhari that this is his chance to write his name in gold as the President that restructured Nigeria’s electoral system after years of trial and error. The President should therefore ignore all dissident and retrogressive exhortations aimed at dissuading him from signing the bill into law.
“We affirm our conviction in the direct primary procedure as it will allow only politicians who are truly popular at the grassroots level to emerge as party candidates.
“However, we also concur that political parties should be able to unilaterally determine their choice of technique in line with their respective ideologies,” the coordinator added.