Following President Muhammadu Buhari’s refusal to assent to the Electoral (Amendment) Bill, 2018, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Presidential Campaign Organization (PPCO) has charged the National Assembly to save the nation’s democracy by immediately overriding the President.
The PDP Campaign said in a statement issued on Friday in Abuja by Kola Ologbondiyan, its Director, Media & Publicity, that the 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.
It said 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 PPCO invited Nigerians to note that this is the fourth time President Buhari is withholding assent on the amendment, without any cogent reason following his rejection by Nigerians.
It added: “Nigerians can recall how the Buhari Presidency plotted to plunge the 2019 elections into a needless controversy by delaying the submission of the election budget to the National Assembly, presenting it at the time the legislators were commencing their annual vacation and asking for virement of funds already approved for development projects, instead of sending a fresh supplementary budget for the election.
“It is unfortunate that Mr. President, in his desperation to hold on to power, has resorted to taking steps that are capable of destabilizing our nation, just because the people are resolute in voting him out of office democratically.
“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 PPCO also charged all political parties, other critical stakeholders and Nigerians in general, to rise in the interest of the 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.”