A Group, the Peter Obi Support Network, has charged the National Assembly to save the nation’s democracy by immediately overriding President Muhammadu Buhari’s refusal to sign the amendment of the Electoral Act.
Buhari, on December 6, 2018, declined assent to the bill for the fourth time, saying he is “concerned that passing a new electoral bill this far into the electoral process for the 2019 general election which commenced under the 2015 Electoral Act, could create some uncertainty about the applicable legislation to govern the process.”
But in a statement made available to newsmen on Monday and signed by its Spokesman, Chief T.E. Ezeoke, the Peter Obi Support Network noted that this legislative action has become imperative as the President’s decision is a calculated attempt to hold the nation to ransom, inject crisis into the electoral process and ultimately scuttle the conduct of the 2019 general elections, seeing that there is no way he can win in a free and fair contest.
The group also described the various reasons that the President gave for declining his assent as baseless.
POSN said the decision of the President to withhold Assent in respect of a Bill to enact a Law to amend the Electoral Act makes no sense because the Final draft Bill considered by the National Assembly, was agreed with the President, precisely to avoid challenges.
It said: “President Buhari’s repeated refusal to sign amendments passed to check rigging in the election, raises issues of his sincerity of purpose and has the capacity to trigger political unrest and violence, which can, in turn, truncate our hard-earned democracy.”
The POSN invited Nigerians to note that this is the fourth time Buhari is withholding assent on the amendment, without any cogent reason, adding: “It is unfortunate that Mr. President, in his desperation to hold on to power, has resorted to taking steps that is capable of destabilizing our nation.
“It is also instructive to note that President Buhari is mortally afraid of the amendments because they essentially checked the All Progressives Congress (APC) rigging plans, including the use of underage and alien voters, vote-buying, alteration of results and manipulation of voter register; for which the APC and the Buhari Presidency have been boasting of winning the 2019 elections.
“While urging the National Assembly to save our democracy and forestall an imminent electoral crisis, the POSN also charges all political parties, other critical stakeholders and Nigerians in general, to rise in the interest of our nation and demand the entrenching of rules and processes that will guarantee the conduct of free, fair and credible elections, as nothing short of that would be accepted.”