Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has said that President Muhammadu Buhari is apprehensive to sign the reworked Electoral Act Amendment Bill because it will adversely affect his party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the 2023 general election. Wike identified the inclusion of the compulsory electronic transmission of electoral results in the bill, which had been reworked, passed and sent to Buhari by the National Assembly, as one of the greatest fears of the APC.
A statement signed by Wike’s Special Assistant, Media, Kelvin Ebiri, said the governor spoke at the inauguration of lecture halls, laboratories and offices of the Faculty of Basic Medical Sciences of the Bayelsa Medical University in Yenagoa yesterday. Referring to Buhari and the APC, Wike said: “They are afraid that if INEC in 2023 transmits election results electronically that is the end of them because they know they will fail.”
Wike queried why the APC-controlled Federal Government was making excuses to justify their unwillingness to sign into law a document he said would advance the country’s electoral process. He recalled that in 2019, the President declined assent because the mandatory use of card readers was included in the bill out of fear it would diminish his winning chances.
He said: “Every time this government, this party will find an excuse of not signing an Electoral Act. In 2018 to 2019 when they inserted the card reader in the Electoral Act Amendment Bill, Mr. President said no, it is too early; I will not sign because they know if they had inserted it (card reader) in 2019 election it would have been difficult for APC to have won.
“Now, we are in 2022, going for 2023, National Assembly in their wisdom said there must be direct primaries by all the parties, Mr. President came and said no, put options. National Assembly in their wisdom has amended the bill and agreed to what Mr. President said.
“Now again, Mr. President said I’m in dilemma, I’m consulting. What is the consultation? That there is a clause that says if a minister or a commissioner wants to run for election you have to resign, that is why up till now Mr. President cannot assent to the Electoral Act Amendment Bill.” Wike said they were trivial excuses because in 2015, he resigned as minister, contested and won the governorship of Rivers State.
The governor said it was regrettable that nobody was willing to help the citizens and the country adding that the National Assembly lacked the courage to assist the country. Wike commended the Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri for his development strides boasting that PDP governors were known as performers. He said while their APC counterparts were making excuses, those in the PDP deployed wisdom, and resources to provide infrastructure to improve the life of their people.
Wike donated N500million to help the Bayelsa government complete the Faculty of Basic Clinical Sciences building project at the Bayelsa Medical University, which is still at DPC, (damp proof course) level. He explained his delight at the courage of Senator Diri in providing such training institution of medical personnel and said that in Niger Delta, there was a need for mutual support and unity among the States.
On his part, Diri said his administration was built on the vision of his predecessors in expanding the Medical University and increasing the programmes of studies to make it one of the best in the country. Diri explained that Governor Wike was invited to perform the inauguration because he had already distinguished himself as a lover of medical education and relentlessly provided quality projects in developing.
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