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Monday, 10 December 2018

Electoral Act: How National Assembly Crafted Bill To Sink Nigeria’s Democracy – North Central Group Alleges

Electoral Act: How National Assembly Crafted Bill To Sink Nigeria’s Democracy – North Central Group Alleges

As reactions continue to trail the rejection of the Electoral Act Amendment Bill by President Muhammadu Buhari, a north central group has alleged that the bill was crafted by some members of the National Assembly to sink the nation’s flourishing democracy.

Recall that Buhari had for the third time withheld his assent to the bill.

Buhari explained that passing the bill could cause “some uncertainty about the applicable legislation to govern the process.”

However, his refusal to assent to the bill has triggered nationwide reactions, with many frowning at his decision while other lauded him for the ‘bold step.’

Reacting to the development, the North Central Democracy and Peace Vanguard called on the National Assembly to immediately cease the ‘plot’ against the country.

Addressing newsmen on Monday in Abuja, the group’s National President, Chief Gabriel Agibi, warned that Nigerians will hold the lawmakers solely responsible for any untoward development in the polity.

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His statement reads in full.

“The federal parliamentarians are being urged on in this reckless plot by the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), some unwholesome groups including the Coalition of United Political Parties (CUPP) and certain individuals that present themselves as activists.

“Gentlemen of the press, recall that the opposition and some of these same lawmakers called for the sack of the military service chiefs over some flimsy reasons. It was later found that their real objective is to get rid of Service Chiefs that are loyal to the country so that those that are pliable can be installed preparatory to the mayhem that would be unleashed after they must have lost the elections.

The pliable military chiefs would then support them to hijack the government under an illegal interim government that will conduct fraudulent elections to hand power over to the opposition.

“The insistence on using a faulty Electoral Law for the conduct of the election in addition to the duplication of legislation is therefore a major trigger that these people want to use to foment trouble and cause widespread violent protests as already hinted at by Mr. President. The bedlam over the withholding of assent to this questionable piece of legislation must be looked at from the perspective of the larger threat to Nigeria’s democracy beyond the first quarter of 2019, when the opposition would have lost at the polls.

“We consequently use this opportunity to demand the following:
“That well-meaning Nigerians condemn this attempt by members of the National Assembly and the opposition to derail our democracy by manipulating the Constitutional provision of veto power for lawmakers to sow confusion into the electoral process.

“That Nigerians occupy the National Assembly until their representatives in the National Assembly cease and desist from using the Electoral Act Amendment to heat up the polity. There are pressing matters deserving the attention of parliamentarians other than being the hired routs of the opposition.

“That the National Assembly immediately ceases this evil plot against the country. Should the lawmakers persist on this destructive path, Nigerians will hold them solely responsible for any untoward development in the polity.

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“President Buhari immediately takes measures to safeguard the country against any breakdown in law and order in the country since this is the end game that the plotters are banking on to destabilize our democracy.

“That the Independent National Electoral Commission goes ahead to manage the 2019 General Election with the same law with which it began the process irrespective of whatever other criminality gets thrown its way in the form of a vetoed legislation. The judiciary exists for situations like this so INEC must seek interpretation up to the Supreme Court before it can manage the elections with two sets of law.

“We make the above demand because it has become increasingly clear to us that the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, our own brethren is the target. The objective is to shove the government aside and get rid of him in the process so that the number two position can go to another region while the north continues as number one position

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