The Coalition of United Political Parties (CUPP) has again expressed concern over President Muhammadu Buhari’s refusal to assent to the 2019 electoral Act, especially as it concerns the deployment of the Smart Card Readers for the conduct of the forthcoming general elections.
National Coordinator of the group, Olagunsoye Oyinlola said failure to sign the bill into law poses a direct threat to the integrity of the forthcoming polls.
Oyinlola said that the proposed amendment to the electoral bill is meant to remove all encumbrances to the deployment of the card readers, with the aim of given it the needed legal backing.
The former Osun state governor who briefed Journalists yesterday in Abuja on what he termed “alert Nigerians on the dangerous schemes of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) to plunge the nation into an avoidable crisis with its grand plan to rig the February 2019 elections, therefore called on the president to have a rethink and sign the bill into law without any further delay.
He stressed the positive impact of the introduction of the card reader in making the 2015 general elections a huge success.
Hence, the amendment to the electoral law, he therefore argued is meant to ensure an improvement to the last general polls.
He said: “You are all welcome to this briefing which is called to alert Nigerians on the dangerous schemes of the ruling All Progressives Congress(APC) to plunge the nation into an avoidable crisis with its grand plan to rig the February 2019 elections.
“You are all familiar with the decision of PresidentMuhammadu Buhari not to sign the Electoral ActAmendment bill into law. You are equally awareof the reasons he gave – one of which is theECOWAS protocol which he said is againstamendments to electoral laws six months to an election. We find it funny that our president wasquick to cite that law while conveniently ignoring very important proviso which negates his excuse.
“For the avoidance of all doubts, Article 2(1) ofthe ECOWAS protocol says in clear terms that amendments to electoral laws could be done butsuch amendments must be “with the consent ofa majority of political actors.” Why did the president ignore this provision while using theother to refuse to sign the bill into law in preparation for a grand electoral heist in 2019?
“We want to remind Nigerians that the amendments were made in order to have better legal frameworks for delivery of very free andfair elections, in accordance with Article 6 of theECOWAS protocol which states that: “The preparation and conduct of elections and the announcement of results shall be done in a transparent manner.”