December 21, 2021

NASS lacks guts to override President on direct primaries, but… — PANDEF

NASS lacks guts to override President on direct primaries, but... — PANDEF

Ahmed Lawan, SenatePresident

By Davies Iheamnachor, PORT HARCOURT

The Pan Niger Delta Forum, PANDEF, has stated that the National Assembly does not have the nerve to override President Muhammadu Buhari on the amendment of the Electoral Act, and that it deliberately included the issues of direct primaries to cause disaffection.

The National Publicity Secretary of PANDEF, Ken Robinson, in Port Harcourt on Tuesday, stated that the inclusion of direct primaries in the amendment was calculated to make President Muhammadu Buhari not to sign it into law.

Robinson noted that NASS lacked the capacity of to compel the President to sign the act.

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He said: “The President has expressed reservation over the issues of direct primaries and we are aware of the top lobbying and persuasions that have been going on.

“Governors and others at the hierarchies of politics did not like the issues of direct primaries.

“Of course they have used cost implication and security implications as excuse, but the fact is clear that the National Assembly itself, there are insinuation that that provision of direct primaries was included knowing that it would cause these disaffections in the system and probably lead to the President not signing the bill.

“It was delibrate to deny the people of Nigeria of a proper electoral bill to provide for free and fair and more credible elections.

“Because they were reluctant, remember, in including the issue of electronic transmission of results and so there are serious concerns that perhaps the direct primaries was included knowing it would cause some kind of controversy to derail the entire amendment process.

“And the truth of the matter is that this 9th Assembly does no have the nerves and the guts to override Mr. President.

“We stand to be proven wrong, but we seriously think that they don’t have the audacity to go ahead and override Mr. President. If they do, it would be fantastic and we will applaud them.

“PANDEF, as a responsible organisation, has said we stand firmly for anything that would improve the electoral system in Nigeria.

“We have made this expression clear over the period that is why we joined the clamour for inclusion of electronic transmission of results.

“It would have closed all the lacunas that create room for people to manipulate the system from the polling units and results are changed.

“That will impede their manipulation of the electoral processes and that is why they were reluctant in including it.

“And what they have done is to celebrate the insertion of that direct primaries clause so that they will have reason not to sign that ameneded Electoral bill.

“We hope to be proven wrong. We hope that the National Assembly would quickly, in national interest, expunge that clause and re-forward the bill to the President for assent within the shortest possible period.”

Vanguard News Nigeria