Chief Dan Osi Orbih
BY GABRIEL ENOGHOLASE
BENIN – WITH barely 83 days to the conduct of the 2019 general elections, the Edo State Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Dr (Chief), Dan Orbih has expressed worries over the silence of Nigerians over the failure of President Muhammadu Buhari to assent to the Electoral Act as amended by the National Assembly.
He insisted that the refusal of the President to assent to the Electoral Act as amended by the National Assembly posed, “a serious danger to the conduct of free, fair and credible elections in 2019 and an affront to our sustainable democracy ”
Orbih, who spoke to journalists weekend in Okada, near Benin shortly after he was conferred with an Honorary doctorate degree in Political Science by the Igbinedion University, Okada asked rhetorically, “what law is INEC going to use in conducting this all important elections that Nigerians are looking up to?”
He said, “I am very worried and disturbed by the near silence of the Nigerian public about the fact that with less than 83 days to the 2019 general elections, President Muhammadu Buhari has not assented to the Electoral Act as amended by the National Assembly.
“The issue there is that what is INEC going to use in conducting this all important elections that Nigerians are looking up to?
“Are we going to use Card Readers or are we going to be at the mercy of Presiding Officers who will use Incident Forms or we will be depending on what their intentions are and who they are working for?
“These are very serious and weighty issues. Are the Presiding Officers going to transmit results from their polling units to save the agony that voters go through when they watch and writ in pains as the results have been changed at the collation centres.
“Are we still going to go through this process as the nation has wasted so much time and resources in the National Assembly to bring about this amendment that the President has refused to sign into law because I am aware that most of their earlier concerns has been addressed in this final bill.
“What exactly is the President’s reason for not assenting to the Electoral Act as passed by the National Assembly.
“Unfortunately, Nigerians are not asking questions, unfortunately, the President is carrying on as if there is nothing urgent about assenting to the Electoral Act as passed by the National Assembly to enable INEC put in place the process of that will meet the specific provisions of the elections. These are not good signs for our democracy”.
He called on University lecturers not to isolate themselves from speaking on issues affecting the country, saying that their contributions were always taking serious by Nigerians as they were based on research and information that others do not have.