- President Muhammadu Buhari and the All Progressives Congress have been accused of not having an interest in the will of Nigerians
- This allegation was made by the Peoples Democratic Party over the delay in the signing of the Electoral Act Amendment Bill by the president
- According to the PDP, the APC-led government is bent on truncating Nigeria's democracy and trigger a political crisis in the country
Nigeria's largest opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to quickly assent to the controversial Electoral Act Amendment Bill.
The PDP said the continued delay in the signing of the Electoral Act Amendment Bill is against the will of the Nigerian people.
Speaking at a press conference attended by Legit.ng reporter, the national publicity secretary of the PDP, Debo Ologunagba, called on the president to practices some of the things he preaches while speaking to leaders of other nations at the international playing ground.
Ologunagba noted that the essence of the conference is to intimate Nigerians and the international community of a dangerous design by the All Progressives Congress-led administration to trigger a political crisis in the country.
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He also warned that the present administration with this design has the capacity to derail Nigeria's electoral system, truncate her democracy, subvert the people's corporate existence and turn the nation into another ‘axis of concern’ to the world.
"As you are aware, President Buhari continues against the will of Nigerians to withhold assent to the Electoral Act Amendment Bill re-transmitted to him since Monday, January 31, 2022 (clear 22 days ago) by the National Assembly.
"This was after the Legislature had acceded to and incorporated all his requests in the newly transmitted version of the Electoral Act Amendment Bill."
The danger of Buhari's refusal to sign the bill
Continuing, Ologunagba said the refusal by the president to assent to the Electoral Act Amendment Bill is nothing short of a premeditated and contrived “political abortion” of the Will of the people.
He warned the delay also makes a mockery of the efforts of the elected 109 Senators and 360 members of the House of Representatives who unanimously passed the Amendment Bill in the first instance.
"The current stance of Mr President further validates our party’s position that the Buhari-led APC government is averse to free, fair, transparent and credible elections in our country, particularly the 2023 general elections."
The intervention of the international community
Further drawing the attention of the international community to the plight of the people of Nigeria, Ologunagba said it is worrisome that the president had addressed the EU-AU Summit in Brussel during his visit to Belgium on Thursday, February 17.
At the summit, President Buhari urged the European Union to impose weighty sanctions on those engaged in “unconstitutional change of governments” as well as those influencing the process and outcomes of elections.
According to the PDP, such submission by the president should also reflect in his activities and leadership towards his home country but the case is the opposite in Nigeria.
How however said:
"We urge the President to practice what he preaches.
Mr President’s refusal to sign the Electoral Act Amendment Bill constitutes an obstruction to the democratic principle of credible elections."
Electoral bill: Civil society groups declare February 22 national day of protest
Electoral Act (Amendment) Bill is currently taking the front burner in the conversations around Nigeria's politics.
President Buhari, who is currently out of the country, continues to delay in giving his assent to the bill.
CSOs including Yiaga Africa, Situation Room, The Electoral Hub, Take Back Movement, Albino Foundation among others, say they will hit the streets soon.
The groups had also declared Tuesday, February 22, as a national day of protest against the president's refusal to sign the bill.
Electoral Bill: NLC vows to mobilise millions of its members for nationwide protest
Earlier, the president of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Ayuba Wabba declared that Nigerian workers will hit the streets across the country to force the Buhari administration to sign the 2021 Electoral Bill.
Wabba said Nigerian federal lawmakers should be proactive in ensuring the approval of the bill before the 2023 elections.
He said the NLC expects the 'needful' to be done by the lawmakers because time is running out.