The New Vision Group condemns the repeated refusal by President Muhammad Buhari to sign the Electoral Act amendment bill into law in spite of the posture of the National Assembly not to be seen as been antagonistic towards his administration.
This latest action clearly shows that the President and his party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) are scared stiff and afraid of losing the 2019 general elections and therefore, are not committed to ensuring free, fair and credible elections in 2019.
Three times before now, President Buhari has withheld his assent to
the amendments made to the extant Electoral Act and the National Assembly has graciously acquiesced to his objections and made the necessary corrections.
But, we consider the latest act as a sign of an incumbent President aided by hawks in the Presidency and within the APC to subvert the will of the people in the general polls and are hell bent to perpetuate themselves in power at all cost and through all means.
We believe that the repeated refusal by the President to sign the amended Act into law is a confirmation that the administration has perfected its rigging machinery for next year’s elections as evidenced with what had transpired in recent governorship elections conducted in Ekiti and Osun states, including the various bye-elections held in some states which have been marred by malpractices and irregularities.
It’s now apparent how desperate Buhari is to cling to power at whatever expense, even if it means plugging the nation and its citizens into a needless and avoidable crisis.
Nigerians reserve the right to vote out a non- performing administration as typified by the records of the current administration in terms of performance and meeting the expectations of a vast majority of citizens.
While we charge all men and women of goodwill to protect our nation’s hard earned democracy and the constitutionally guaranteed right to choose leaders of our choice, we call on the international community not to be silent in ensuring free, fair and credible polls in 2019.
They must ensure that the votes of Nigerians count at the polls and only a leader truly elected by the people is declared winner of the elections by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC)..
We therefore, feel compelled that it has become imperative for the National Assembly to protect our democracy and the integrity of the electoral process by overriding the President’s veto and summon the courage and will to pass the Electoral Act amendment bill into law.
The National Assembly must do the right thing by standing with the people, rather than allow a single individual hold the nation to ransom and enthrone political instability because of his inordinate ambition to retain power since it’s apparent that there is no way he can win in a free and fair contest in 2019.
Overriding Buhari’s veto, we absolutely believe will ensure that the well thought out amendments proposed by the National Assembly become law and checkmate the APC’s rigging plans, including the use of underage and alien voters, vote-buying, alteration of results and manipulation of the voter register; for which the APC and the Buhari Presidency have become adept at employing in winning elections.