Conference of Nigeria Political Parties (CNPP) has described as “not surprising” the rejection of the amended Electoral Act 2010 by President Muhammadu Buhari.
While reacting to the news that President Buhari has withheld assent to the Electoral Act Amendment Bill and returned the Bill to the National Assembly, the CNPP in a statement signed by its Secretary General, Chief Willy Ezugwu, said “what would have been shocking is Mr. President assenting the bill.”
Giving reasons for its submission, the CNPP said “Nigerians should recall that President Buhari had excuses for refusing to sign the Electoral Act Amendment three times during the life of the 8th National Assembly led by Dr. Bukola Saraki.
“Even when the National Assembly removed all the clauses Mr. President stood against following his second rejection of the amendment to the Act, President Buhari still rejected the Bill, claiming that the 2019 election was too close for him to sign the Bill into law.
“So, it was not surprising that the President refused to sign the latest amendment to the Electoral law. It follows his tradition.
“First, it is obvious that President Buhari and his ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) are not interested in free and fair elections in Nigeria. They vehemently stood against electronic transmission of election results.
“And here is a President and a political party that are beneficiaries of reformed electoral process but fail all the time to deepen the same democratic process that brought them to power.
“Unfortunately, we have a “Yes Sir” National Assembly that have no balls to veto the Bill and meet the expectations of Nigeria.
“The President’s reasons for not assenting the bill are baseless compared to the gains of a free and fair elections to the country and her people.
“There is the information flying around that the Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, has a governorship ambition. So, being someone in government, and protecting the status quo to possibly become a beneficiary of the current biased electoral process, won’t be impossible.
“His reported advice to Mr. President not to assent the Bill is therefore understandable as an interested party and a member of the political party in power.
“The APC itself and their populated national Assembly cannot be taken seriously on issues that bother on deepening electoral process and reforms in the electoral system.
“Their main fears centre on electronic transmission of results and direct primary which would have swept the current leaders in APC out of power in 2023 for failing to deliver on their electoral promises”, the CNPP concluded.