The President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari, was advised by the National Association of Nigerian Students, South West, Zone D, that the N305 billion recommended by the Independent National Electoral Commission for the 2023 general elections was too expensive.
Emmanuel Olatunji, the Southwest Coordinator of NANS, stated that the country may not be able to manage the consequences of such spending due to “the nation’s precarious economic condition.” “The Nigerian economy is barely hanging by a thread, and the proposed N305 billion may not be viable at this time,” according to an official statement.
“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 the “appropriate downward review,” of the budget to a practicable figure. He noted that this will go a long way to ease the conversation between the electoral body and the federal government.
The coordinator stated that “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.
Emmanuel Olatunji also expressed the association’s position on the 2022 election change bill, which was still being worked out between the National Assembly and the Presidency as of press time.
“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 grassroot 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.”