Buhari’s decision not to sign Electoral Bill better for presidential aspirants – Bauchi gov | Dailytrust

Buhari’s decision not to sign Electoral Bill better for presidential aspirants – Bauchi gov

Bala Mohammed
Bala Mohammed

The Peoples Democratic Party’s presidential aspirant and Governor of Bauchi State, Bala Mohammed, has expressed pleasure with the decision of President Muhammadu Buhari not to sign the latest amendment to the Electoral Act 2022 to enable statutory delegates to vote in political parties’ primaries.

He spoke on Wednesday while fielding questions from State House reporters after leading a delegation on a thank-you-visit to the President for inaugurating a N23.5 billion World Bank Assisted Upgraded Bauchi Township Water Supply Scheme.

Mohammed said he was comfortable with the development which had reduced the number of delegates to woo for votes, stressing that “the less the merrier”.

According to him, the process of amending the electoral act did not start on time and signing now might go against National Electoral Commission (INEC) guidelines for elections.

When asked about his feeling about the decision of the President not to sign the new amendment to the Electoral Act, he said: “Well, I’m a realist. I believe that the Electoral Act is a product of the legislative process and that has been done, however, it was not done earlier and then we have a timeline and guideline of INEC, so we’ll have to manage it.

“I think the less the merrier as somebody who is in the race. Well, I have fewer delegates to go and woo, it is better for me than all these 4,000, 5,000 delegates. Anyway, that is my take.”

There was pressure on President Buhari to assent to the amendment to Section 84 (8) which provides that delegates to vote at the Indirect Primaries and National Convention of political parties to elect candidates for elections shall be those democratically elected for that purpose only.

With the decision not to sign the amendment, statutory delegates, such as elected political office holders, political appointees and executive officers of political parties are not eligible to vote at primaries to nominate candidates for the 2023 general elections.

Mohammed, who was asked to speak on his chances at the PDP presidential primary election, said: “I wouldn’t want to be subjective and arbitrary in my answers on my chances, but you know my chances. So, I have garnered the experience and I’m presenting myself with humility.

“And I believe I have received a lot of good responses across the country because I have people all over and everywhere. And I understand how to manage and how to govern. So, my chances are very high, as well as the chances of others. I’m a Democrat.

“I don’t believe that I am the best. I have always said it. Maybe you are the best, but you have not come on, but I am one of the best too. So, the choice is for Nigerians to make. And I don’t want to be preemptive or presumptuous about it. But certainly, I have a very good chance. And if I get the chance, I believe you should see it as your own chance because I represent you in this journey and leadership.”

On whether he would step down for his former principal and close ally, President Goodluck Jonathan, if he left the PDP and run on the APC platform, the governor said: “Secondly, on the other aspect of my boss, I have said this severally that my boss is my boss, I have that feeling of gratitude. Even there are people here that I have so much gratitude for, if they’re running for something I will not run. I believe in respect because mentorship is the main thing that we should respect.

“The system of apprenticeship that is being deepened by the Igbos is what we should learn. People should know that you have a boss who will set you free and give you the resources and the capacity. If he (Jonathan) had not fished me out from where I was, I wouldn’t have been in the national limelight. And that’s why I said that if he was running I will not run, but certainly, that time is over because he’s not running.”

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