Electoral Bill: Delta commissioner asks NASS to override Buhari or expunge direct primarie
By Monday Osayande, Asaba
Delta State Commissioner for Information, Mr. Charles Aniagwu, has urged the National Assembly to remove the contentious direct primaries in the proposed law or override President Muhammadu Buhari’s veto on the Bill to enable Nigerians benefit from the new electoral reforms.
Aniagwu, who spoke on a live programme on African Independent Television (AIT) monitored in Asaba, Tuesday evening, said Nigerians should not dissipate energy debating the propriety or otherwise of the President’s refusal to assent to the Bill but channel their energy to call on the National Assembly to either override the President’s veto or amend the bill quickly for his assent.
Aniagwu said: “From the way we operate at the moment, it is possible for somebody to vote in Ekiti State and also move to Osun to vote in the direct primaries because the data is not there as it should.
“So, if indeed we need to have direct primaries, which I’m not against, we need to first of all clean up the system. We need to enact the law to ensure that it addresses the issues of manipulations.”
While recalling that the President refused to assent to the amendment in 2018 on the excuse that it was too close to the 2019 General Election, he advised the National Assembly to expunge the grey arrears and send the bill back to the President to enable the country to have an electoral law that could address certain issues particularly the online transmission of results which is important to Nigerians.
He said: “I believe that once this is done, we will begin to make some progress but if we continue to debate on the propriety or otherwise of the President’s refusal to give assent to the Bill, we will be doing so at the country’s peril. We need to get this done so that we can have an electoral act that is grounded in transparency.”
He commended the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for the introduction of the Bimodal Voters Verification and Accreditation System (BVAS), which, according to him, had reduced thuggery, violence and ballot box snatching, among other rigging practices.