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NCFront condemns Buhari’s refusal to sign Electoral Bill

Leaders of Conscience under the National Consultative Front (NCFront) on Tuesday condemned the decision of President Muhammadu Buhari to decline assent to the Electoral Act…

Leaders of Conscience under the National Consultative Front (NCFront) on Tuesday condemned the decision of President Muhammadu Buhari to decline assent to the Electoral Act (Amendment) Bill 2021.

It said it amounted to indiscretion and utter disregard to the mood of the country and expectations of the international community.

“By delaying assent to the Electoral Amendment Bill expected to empower Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in the quest for electronic transmission of results, the president has left no one in doubt about the ploy to undermine democratic wishes of Nigerians in 2023,” the group through its Head Public Affairs Bureau, Dr Tanko Yunusa, said.

The NCFront, while noting that the president anchored his refusal to assent to the bill on the provision on direct primaries, said the provision for direct primaries “Largely appears a booby trap activated to frustrate popular demands for electronic transmission of results.”

Yunusa said, “It is recalled that electronic voting was overwhelmingly canvassed by Nigerians following rejection by both chambers of the National Assembly.

“Consequently, we however perceived the conundrum of direct primaries in the Electoral Amendment Bill as a smokescreen by enemies of electoral reforms deployed to frustrate electronic transmission of results.

“It is unfortunate that President Buhari refused to assent electronic transmission of results as introduced by INEC in spite of the high level of transparency witnessed in the polls conducted recently; particularly during the November 6 Governorship Election in Anambra State.”

“It is indeed regrettable that President Buhari and the APC appear recalcitrant in their determination to reverse the gains recorded with the introduction of a biometric system that led to the deployment of Permanent Voter Card and Card Reader Machine during the 2015 election.

“Under President Buhari, there appear to be a deliberate attempt to undermine INEC and frustrate further reforms that will invest the electoral system with transparency.

“NCF therefore categorically decries the self-centred and retrogressive agenda targeted at eroding the faith of the citizens in the electoral process through deliberate orchestration of barriers against reforms by INEC.”

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