By Dirisu Yakubu
ABUJA-The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Thursday said President Muhammadu Buhari, in his desperation to achieve a personal ambition, is holding the nation to ransom by refusing to sign the Electoral Act Amendment Bill, passed by the National Assembly into law, to check possible manipulations in the 2019 general elections.
The party also said President Buhari and the All Progressives Congress (APC) are scared of defeat because the draft law effectively checked all machinations, which they intend to use in the 2019 general elections.
In a statement signed by the party’s National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, the PDP argued that the Amendment Bill, which is in the overall interest of the nation, embattles President Buhari because it eliminates openings for major malpractices including the use of underage and alien voters, vote buying, alteration of results and manipulation of voter register, “which the APC intends to use to rig the 2019 elections,” adding that “Such provisions include granting the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, powers to utilize full biometrics accreditation of voters with smart card readers and other technological devices, which the Buhari Presidency and APC know will effectively check their reliance on dead, underage and alien voters, which they intend to use, particularly in the Presidential election.”
The party also noted that the Amendment Bill provides for instant transmission of results from polling to collation centers which “Ensures real-time results and reduces human interference and election malpractices, thus effectively checking the alteration of results by the APC.”
The PDP further maintained that “The Presidency and APC are opposing the Amendment Bill because of a provision which restricts arbitrary qualifications for candidates and encourages younger aspirants, as they fear that such can jeopardize President Buhari’s chances within the APC.
“President Buhari knows that, having failed Nigerians in his first tenure, there is no way he can win in a free, fair and credible election, hence the desperation to manipulate the system and undermine the electoral laws.”