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PDP sends emissaries to Buhari to sign Electoral Act amendment bill

Says President's action creating tension

By Joshua Omoloye, Abuja

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has said that President Muhammadu Buhari’s failure to assent to the Electoral Act Amendment Bill 22 days after being transmitted by the National Assembly, is heightening apprehension across the country.

It described refusal of the President to sign the Bill after five failed attempt as  furtive plots by APC leaders to orchestrate a “constitutional impasse that can railroad our democracy into an emergency tenure elongation, induced election postponement, self-succession or worst still an interim government situation”.

The party therefore urged members of the international community, organised labour, students bodies, professional bodies and all lovers of democracy to impress it upon President Buhari to save the country unnecessary crisis by signing the bill.

National Publicity Secretary, Hon Debo Ologunagba gave the position of the party while addressing a world press conference at the party’s national secretariat, Abuja on Tuesday.

According to the party, there is a growing tension in the country which calls for concern as it has the capacity to spawn “widespread restiveness with consequential violence, bloodletting and attendant humanitarian crisis in the country that may affect the entire West Africa subregion, Europe, America and other parts of the world if not
addressed”.

This, the party said,  is because Nigerians, especially the youths have become more politically aware and involved, with well-founded and implacable aversion to injustice, oppression, manipulations and undemocratic tendencies as being witnessed under the APC administration.

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“The situation is being worsened by the arrogant utterances of some officials of the Buhari-led APC administration particularly the Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami SAN, who is now subjecting the decision of the generality of Nigerians through the National Assembly to personal parochial and partisan whims.

“Our Party also has information about how some selfish unelected cabinet ministers, advisers and other top government functionaries with ambitions for presidential, governorship and other elective positions are mounting pressure on President Buhari not to sign the Electoral Act Amendment Bill to enable them remain longer in office so as to continue to use public funds to corruptly pursue their personal political interests.

“It is appalling that President Buhari who claims to be fighting corruption is condoning and encouraging this inordinate access to public funds in pursuit of private ambitions. The only way Mr. President can extricate himself is to sign the Electoral Act Amendment Bill immediately.

“The PDP strongly advise President Buhari and APC leaders to stop toying with the aspiration of Nigerians to entrench democracy in our country through the process of free, fair, transparent and credible elections in
2023”.

The PDP said it is even most distressing that President Buhari, who is the biggest beneficiary of credible, free and fair elections conducted by the PDP in 2015 is now in the vanguard to frustrate genuine effort for credible elections in 2023, not minding the huge negative consequences such portends for the nation.

“Given the precarious political situation in the country today, the PDP calls on all Nigerians, the Organized Labour, Civil Society, Student Bodies, Professional Bodies, Trade Unions and all lovers of democracy across the world to rise up and impress it upon President Buhari to immediately sign the Electoral Act Amendment Bill so as to assure
Nigerians and avert an impending crisis in our country.

“Our Party also calls on the International Community and friends of Nigeria including the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, United Arab Emirates, Russia, France among others; the European Union (EU), African Union (AU), Commonwealth of Nations and the United Nations (UN) to immediately bear diplomatic and political pressure on President Buhari, APC leaders and senior government officials who are intent on derailing our democracy.

“Finally, the PDP charges the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to stand on the side of democracy, resist the APC and get prepared to use technology that abound to ensure the direct transmission of election results from the polling units in the 2023 elections”, the party pleaded.

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