March 20, 2019

Election sequence: CNPP berates Buhari for withholding assent

…says Nigeria is greater than anybody’s ambition

The Conference of Nigeria Political Parties (CNPP) has carpeted President Muhammadu Buhari over his refusal to sign some bills that had been passed by the National Assembly.

It said Mr President is receiving bad advice from those it described as ‘enemies of democracy’ to withhold his assent to the recently passed Electoral Act amendment by the National Assembly.

The umbrella body of political parties in Nigeria, who observed that the country is greater than anyone’s ambition, urged the federal legislature to invoke their veto powers as conferred on them by the Constitution to override the President assent for the bill to become a law in the interest of the country.

President Buhari had written the Senate on Tuesday to communicate his decision to withhold assent on the bill, highlighting issues that are in the amended Act, which accounted for his action.

Reacting to the development, CNPP in a statement emailed to SAHEL STANDARD by its Secretary-General, Chief Willy Ezugwu, alarmed Nigerians that the president’s action does not bode well for the nation’s democracy.

CNPP Scribe further noted that no sacrifice was too much to safeguard the country and guide its democracy from sliding into a one party state.

“Those advising the President on the re-ordered electoral sequence must have deceived him that the amendment was targeted at his re-election. In any case, is Nigeria not greater than any one man’s ambition?,” he said.

It, however, conveyed his message to the presidency and the president to consider it imperative the move to conduct a free and fair election in 2019 to safeguard democracy in Nigeria.

Ezugwu reminded Buhari that his ascension to the topmost office in the country was possible through an acceptable election by the previous government.

“The President should focus on conducting a free and fair election like the previous government, which conducted the election that brought him into office.

“The truth of the matter is that a President that has done well will be re-elected, irrespective of the date the presidential election is being conducted.

“Therefore, the unannounced fear of the Presidency that the amendment will adversely affect President Muhammadu Buhari re-election is unfounded as the withholding of the President’s assent is not in his interest.

“The action is strongly portraying Mr. President as one who is not concerned about deepening democracy and has no interest in the credibility of elections after his tenure.

“We therefore urge the representatives of the people at the National Assembly to immediately invoke their constitutional powers and veto the President’s assent to move the country forward on the path of true democracy,” the CNPP added.

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