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2019 polls: Why Buhari didn’t sign Electoral Bill

With the National Assembly threatening to veto President Muhammadu Buhari on the Electoral Act Amendment Bill, the controversy seems to be growing.
President Buhari insists that signing the Bill will undermine credible elections next year.
Besides, he says it will negate an ECOWAS Protocol which states that no electoral legislation should be passed 90 days before an election, according to Presidency source.
Nigeria is a signatory to the protocol and the general elections are barely two months away.
The opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has urged the National Assembly to veto the bill.
Peoples Trust (PT) presidential candidate Gbenga Olawepo-Hashim berated the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and the PDP for quarrelling over the document.
He said both parties were playing pranks due to what he described as their hypocritical commitment to the proposed Electoral Act.
However, a Presidency source yesterday listed the reasons the President withheld his signature to the bill.
Besides, it was learnt, some senators have vowed to resist any plan by the National Assembly to veto the President on the bill.
The source, who pleaded not to be named because he is not permitted to speak on the matter, maintained that the bill as passed by the lawmakers was full of “booby traps” that could compromise the credibility of next year’s elections if signed into law.
According to the source, electronic transmission of election results as provided for in the bill could be manipulated by hackers.
The source described the controversy over the Electoral Act as an “unnecessary distraction” to blackmail the President into signing the law with his “eyes wide closed”, adding that the document “is a landmine laid in the path of the President by the PDP-led National Assembly, which is determined to force his hands, despite the fact that the President has unambiguously explained his reasons for not signing the Electoral Act”.
The source said:  ”The Act is fraught with dangers, which, if ignored, could only create chaos and confusion during the 2019 elections.
“The President is validly worried about the loopholes in the Electoral Act that could undermine the will of the people.
“Forcing the hands of the President to sign the amended Electoral Act in its present form could result in chaos, thereby truncating the democratic process.
“We have discovered disturbing evidence that suggests that the nation’s interest has been sold off and all that the PDP will do is to hack into the mandatory electronic transmission of results to write whatever they wish and win. Government is determined to ensure that the votes count in the coming elections and have to do something to thwart their evil plan.
“There is the issue of the so-called ‘fusion of votes’ by which the votes of party members in an alliance, without any form of merger can be counted for a candidate other than their own.”
The President had on Friday returned the Electoral Act (Amendment) Bill 2018 to the National Assembly, urging the lawmakers to revisit his earlier observations on what he called “observed errors”.
President Buhari in his December 6 memo addressed to Senate President Bukola Saraki and House of Representatives Speaker Yakubu Dogara, urged the lawmakers to save democracy by ensuring the law comes into effect after next year’s elections.
It was the fourth time the President will rejected the bill.
But the House of Representatives, through its spokesman Abdulrazak Namdas, said the President’s memo had not been officially communicated to the Green Chambe
2019 polls: Why Buhari didn’t sign Electoral Bill 2019 polls: Why Buhari didn’t sign Electoral Bill Reviewed by Peter Hosea on December 10, 2018 Rating: 5

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