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Electoral Bill: CNPP Urges Nigerians To Step Up Pressure on Presidency, Gives Reasons for Delayed Assent

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Conference of Nigeria Political Parties (CNPP) has called on Nigerians to sustain the current pressure of the President Muhammadu Buhari administration to get the President to sign the re-amended Electoral Act as transmitted to the President.

In a statement signed by its Secretary General, Chief Willy Ezugwu, the CNPP said there were two major reasons the All Progressives Congress (APC) led administration is not willing to sign the re-amended Electoral Act.

“First, the APC government envisaged that there would be a major uprising if the real reasons Mr. President was advised to withhold assent to the rejected bill were given.

“What we have come to realise, which we disclosed in an earlier press release, was that electronic transmission of election results was the reason the bill was returned to the National Assembly, not about the mode of election at party primaries as we were told.

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“Secondly, we have discovered another reason the APC and their allies are now putting pressure on President Buhari not to sign the Electoral Act as re-amended in line with President Buhari’s demands.

“The APC finds clause 84 in the amendment unfavourable to the party. According to Clause 84 of the transmitted bill, “No political appointee at any level shall be a voting delegate or be voted for at the convention or congress of any political party for the purpose of the nomination of candidates for any election”.

“The implication is that all political appointees in President Buhari’s government would no longer be eligible, either as voting delegates or aspirants during the conventions or congresses of their political parties.

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“We’re shocked that the APC has always stood against sanity, equity, and anything that would promote a credible electoral process since coming into power, even though the party came to power through electoral reforms by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in 2015.

“The PDP introduced technology into the electoral process that increased the credibility of the election, which paved the way for APC to come to power.

“How come that APC is against Clause 84? Are they going to remain in power forever?

“Even the PDP desired to be in power for as long as 60 years, but in response to the demands of the people, Card Readers and other technological devices were introduced to enhance credibility of elections.

“Unfortunately, APC is an opposition party in some states of the federation. Are they saying that it is fair to have appointees of the governors in the states they are not controlling to be eligible, either as voting delegates or aspirants without first resigning their positions? Why is APC the only political party that is against the Clause?

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“In any case, there is no perfect law in the world and that is why amendment provisions are inserted in all laws.

We should stick to doing the right thing and capturing the demands of the electorate who voted for the lawmakers who make the law, not putting the entire country into the straitjacket of a political party for selfish political gains. This will be detrimental to our democracy and inimical to good governance”, the CNPP warned.

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