The Young Progressive Party has described the refusal of President Muhammadu Buhari to sign the amended Electoral Act as forwarded to him by the National Assembly as “a high level display of hypocrisy by a government professing commitment to a transparent and nonviolent elections come 2019, yet promoting actions capable of setting the country ablaze.”
Addressing newsmen at the National Secretariat of the party, Comrade Egbeola Olawale Martins, the spokesperson of the YPP, recalled that this was the fourth time the President would withhold assent to the “Amended Electoral Bill upon flimsy excuses that it will cause uncertainty and crisis even after all concerns previously raised by him have been adequately addressed by the National Assembly”.
While pointing out that this act of the President “is the height of executive rascality and power arrogance, which are traits only found in anti-progressive elements and enemies of democracy”, Comrade Martins wondered “how a major beneficiary of previous amendments has suddenly turned himself into a clog in the wheel of progress of our democracy.”
He described the electoral process as imperfect and in need of continuous strengthening to meet the yearnings and aspirations of citizens, advising those he described as the “President’s team of unpatriotic advisers” that “any law that gives legitimate backing to the use of card readers, support the electronic transmission of results from the polling units, eliminate the use of incidence forms and bring more sanity to the electoral process should be supported and not suffocated on the altar of selfish ambition.”
He called on the President to reverse his stance immediately as his refusal to sign the Bill into law portends danger for Nigeria, further calling on “CSOs, the media, international community and other stakeholders to condemn this tyranny and salvage the country from desperate anti-democratic forces determined to hold on to power by all means when it is crystal clear even to the blind that they have been rejected by the people”.
Martins said “desperate times call for desperate measures and having been boxed to a corner by Mr. President and his team of unpatriotic advisers, the onus is now on members of the National Assembly to as a matter of National urgency invoke the provisions of Section 58, sub-section (5) of the 1999 Constitution, (as amended) which empowers her to override the President’s veto by two-third majority.
“The time for the National Assembly to act on behalf of the people is now and swift actions should be taken without further delay in the overall interest of the nation as the misguided will of one man cannot be stronger than the collective resolute will of a nation.”