As reactions continue to trail President Muhammadu Buhari’s veto of the Electoral Act Amendment Bill, 2021, the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Tuesday said it is part of a plot to rig the 2023 general election.
The PDP said there were other provisions in the document that would naturally sanitize the electoral system and if the document was assented and became functional, the All Progressives Congress (APC) will find it difficult to rig, hence, the Buhari-led government has resorted to cock and bull story.
In a statement on Tuesday which was signed by the National Publicity Secretary, Hon. Nebo Ologunagba, PDP recalled how APC planted some lawmakers at the upper and lower legislative Chambers to scuttle the provision that deals with electronic means of transferring election results, but failed to stop it, adding that what they failed to achieve during the parliamentary debates, they have now achieved it at the executive by ensuring the bill wasn’t assented.
“It is instructive to recall that the APC has been in trepidation of the amendment to the Electoral Act, due mainly to the provision of electronic transmission of election results, which will completely eliminate APC’s manipulations and alteration of results at elections.
“It is apparent that the APC and the Buhari Presidency were never committed to the amendment of the Electoral Act to ensure credible elections and as such triggered the controversy of the mode of primaries by political parties as a camouflage to scuttle the entire Amendment Bill including provisions for electronic transmission of results among others,” the party stated.
The PDP insisted that the ruling party was hell bent on rigging the 2023 elections, hence, after the bill was passed into law at both Chambers of the parliament, APC continued to work behind the scene to demonize the document.
“It is imperative to remind Nigerians of how the APC, in collusion with their leaders in the National Assembly fought hard to stop the electronic transmission of results provision in the Bill, but were resisted by Nigerians supported by the courageous action of the PDP Caucus in the House of Representatives which staged a walk out only for the APC to orchestrate controversies and set the stage for the withholding of assent by Mr. President.
“The main reason for this manipulation of the legislative process by the APC, is to prevent the electronic transmission of results so that it can continue in its culture of rigging and electoral impunities including alteration of results at collation, ballot box snatching, destruction of data among others; just to cling to power against the will of Nigerians.
“Such is consistent with the APC’s well-known machination against every genuine effort to instill credible, transparent, free and fair elections in Nigeria in the last six years.
“The APC thrives in electoral scam, duplicity, underhand dealings, violence and political brigandage, all in their heinous script to put Nigerians under perpetual bondage.
“Having been rejected for its failures and having also self-decimated its structure across the country, the APC has completely lost the capacity and goodwill for electoral contest and as such seeks every means to subvert any process that can guarantee credible elections in 2023.
“The subversion of the passage of the Electoral Act Amendment Bill by the APC further validates the fact that the APC is averse to the aspiration of Nigerians and does not believe in democratic principles of credible elections.
“Our party, therefore, calls on all Nigerians, Civil Society Organizations, the International Community and all lovers of democracy across the world to rise up and put appropriate pressure on the APC-led National Assembly to immediately do the needful so as to safeguard our democracy by ensuring that the basic principles of transparent, credible, free and fair mode of conducting elections are guaranteed and sustained by law.
“The PDP cautions the APC to note that no matter their machination, Nigerians are determined to pursue the electronic transmission of election results to its logical conclusion and that there is no going back in their resolve to vote out the APC in 2023,” it stated.