PDP: Why Buhari refused to assent amendment electoral bill

Opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has opined the reason behind President Muhammadu Buhari’s refusal to assent to the amendment electoral bill.

Mr Buhari on Tuesday rejected the legislation brought to him in November for his assent. He said the direct primary clause, which involves the participation of all members of a political party in choosing flagbearers, necessitated his refusal.

Breaking down the reason further, he cited cost, security and rights violations that may arise from the task which he argued was expensive for smaller political parties in the country.

While it is speculated in one angle that state governors of the All Progressive Congress (APC) prevailed on the president to withhold his assent in other not to whittle down their influence at state party chapters, others, like the PDP, believe the Nigerian leader refusal has links to the insertion of electronic transmission of election results.

In a statement on Wednesday, the opposition party through Debo Ologunagba, its spokesman, accused the ruling party of perfecting plans to rig the 2023 presidential election hence the president’s decision to withhold his assent.

For the bill to become law without Buhari’s approval, two-third members of the two legislative chambers at the national assembly would have to vote in support but TODAY POLITICS observed that such feat is not feasible under the Ahmad Lawan-led leadership.

“APC has been in trepidation of the amendment to the Electoral Act, due mainly to the provision of electronic transmission of election results, which will completely eliminate APC’s manipulations and alteration of results at elections,” the PDP claimed despite one of its governors hailing the president for not approving the bill.

“It is imperative to remind Nigerians of how the APC, in collusion with their leaders in the national assembly, fought hard to stop the electronic transmission of results provision in the bill but were resisted by Nigerians, supported by the courageous action of the PDP caucus in the house of representatives which staged a walkout only for the APC to orchestrate controversies and set the stage for the withholding of assent by Mr. president.

“The main reason for this manipulation of the legislative process by the APC is to prevent the electronic transmission of results so that it can continue in its culture of rigging and electoral impunities including alteration of results at collation, ballot box snatching, destruction of data among others; just to cling to power against the will of Nigerians.

“Such is consistent with the APC’s well-known machination against every genuine effort to instil credible, transparent, free and fair elections in Nigeria in the last six years.

Having been rejected for its failures and having also self-decimated its structure across the country, the APC has completely lost the capacity and goodwill for electoral contest and as such seeks every means to subvert any process that can guarantee credible elections in 2023.

“The subversion of the passage of the Electoral Act amendment bill by the APC further validates the fact that the APC is averse to the aspiration of Nigerians and does not believe in democratic principles of credible elections.

“Our party, therefore, calls on all Nigerians, civil society organisations, the international community and all lovers of democracy across the world to rise up and put appropriate pressure on the APC-led national assembly to immediately do the needful so as to safeguard our democracy by ensuring that the basic principles of transparent, credible, free and fair mode of conducting elections are guaranteed and sustained by law.

“The PDP cautions the APC to note that no matter their machination, Nigerians are determined to pursue the electronic transmission of election results to its logical conclusion and that there is no going back in their resolve to vote out the APC in 2023,” the party added.