The Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike, has derided members of the National Assembly, saying they are too timid and lack the audacity and boldness to veto President Muhammadu Buhari’s withholding of assent to the Electoral Act Amendment Bill.
Wike, while reacting to Buhari’s refusal to sign the Bill into law, said the natural thing for the lawmakers to do would be to override the President using their veto power in doing so, but according to the Governor, the reverse is the case as, according to him, the lawmakers do not have what it takes to go against Buhari.
He added the real reason for Buhari’s refusal to assent to the Bill was because “it was part of the All Progressives Congress (APC) scheme to allegedly deny Nigerians free, fair and transparent election in 2023.”
Wike who bared his mind on Tuesday following the controversy generated by Buhari’s action, said the only way for Nigerians not to repeat the 2015 and 2019 mistakes of voting the APC-led federal government into power was to send them packing in 2023.
“Three weeks ago, I told Nigerians that there is a conspiracy not to have a free, fair, transparent election in 2023 and that conspiracy was very clear. And I told Nigerians, Mr President will not sign the Electoral Act amendment bill,” Wike said.
Wike said he knows the “modus operandi, style and strategy of the APC, and it is obvious to all discerning minds that the clause on direct primaries was inserted into the Electoral Act amendment bill as a ploy for the president to refuse assent to the bill.”
He accused the APC governors and their National Assembly members of allegedly deceiving Nigerians that they were engaged in a battle of supremacy over the issue of direct primaries, whereas they had secretly agreed to scuttle the possibility of transmitting election result electronically in 2023.
“What APC resolved in one the secret meetings they had was that their problem is not necessarily direct primaries, but the electronic transmission of result in 2023.
“Unfortunately, the National Assembly does not have what it takes to veto the president’s refusal to assent to the bill, because they were not interested in protecting the interest of Nigerians and ensuring that elections were free and fair with the electronic transmission of election results.
“Unfortunately too, you don’t have a National Assembly that has what it takes, that will stand for the people, that will say, look, we were elected by the people and we want to give the people the best.
“Nobody in the National Assembly, not even the leadership, can have what it takes to say Mr President, for the interest of Nigerians, we are going to veto this your refusal.”