National Assembly caucus of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, has said that some All Progressives Congress, APC governors have begun subtle move to discourage President Muhammadu Buhari from signing the re-amended Electoral Bill, 2022 into law.
Clerk to the National Assembly, Mr. Olatunde Amos Ojo had on Monday, transmitted the authenticated copies of the Electoral Bill 2022 to President Buhari.
But Minority Leader of the Senate, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe and his counterpart in the House of Representatives, Hon. Ndudi Elumelu, made the allegation when members of the joint caucus had meeting with members of the Board of Trustees, BoT led by their chairman, Senator Walid Jibrin at the National Assembly complex, Abuja.
Welcoming the BoT members, Senator Abaribe urged PDP as a party through the board, National Working Committee, NWC and the National Executive Committee, NEC to appeal to Buhari, saying having bent backwards as requested by the President on the earlier rejected Electoral Bill, it should be signed without any delay.
“The President in rejecting the earlier one transmitted to him in November last year, said the indirect and consensus mode of primary elections were added to the new one as requested by President Buhari.
“Now that we have bent backwards, no any excuse or reason should be given again. Provisions of the bill are very critical for expected credibility of the 2023 general elections,” he said.
In his own, Elumelu said the alleged lobby of the APC governors against presidential assent to the bill, would be resisted by the PDP and forward looking Nigerians generally because of other very important provisions in the bill like section 52 which deals with electronic transmission of election results.
“They (APC) said they wanted direct primary for parties, we supported them, they said it’s indirect, we supported them, again, they said it’s consensus, we gave them.
“But we are hearing that some governors are mounting pressure on President Buhari not to sign the Electoral Bill into law.
“The plan of using mandatory direct primaries to scuttle the bill has failed because the National Assembly has widened the scope as requested for by the President.
“No any other unresolved issues or observations is left in the bill transmitted to the President on Monday this week.
“No more excuses, no more delay, it should be signed in the interest of credibility and sanctity of electoral process in the country.”
He went further to lampoon the ruling party for constituting 133-member campaign council for the forthcoming Area Councils election in the Federal Capital Territory, FCT.
According to him, rather than APC focusing on how to hold its severally postponed National Convention, it’s carrying hammer to kill ant by enlisting 16 serving governors, 12 serving ministers and countless numbers of other public office holders at the federal level to militarize the Area Council election.
“This to us in PDP is laughable because throughout the 16 years we were in power at the centre , there was no time such a busy body campaign council was set up for FCT Area Council election.
“Unfortunately for APC, the 133-member campaign council it set up, cannot deliver FCT for it because there is no way aliens or strangers in any place, will displace landlords,” he said.
Earlier, chairman of the BoT informed that the meeting had become necessary with a view to further strengthen the PDP ahead of the 2023 general elections
According to Jibrin, the BoT has been working hard to keep the PDP as one indivisible party and will continue to do so, urging members to avoid using court as means of settling any dispute.
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