APC Lawmakers Ready To Stop Plan Of PDP Lawmakers To Override Buhari On Signing Electoral Bill
President Muhammadu Buhari‘s refusal to assent to the Electoral Amendment Bill has continued to generate rancour among lawmakers in the National Assembly.
Lawmakers of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the House of Representatives, yesterday, vowed to block any move to override the President’s veto of the Electoral Act (Amendment) bill,Naija News reported earlier.
Briefing newsmen at the National Assembly in Abuja, the APC caucus leader, Femi Gbajabiamila, insisted that the “APC lawmakers have more than the two-third number to stop any veto.”
According to him, President Buhari declined his assent to the bill because of its imperfection and inherent potentialities to disenfranchise millions of eligible Nigerian voters.
He said the bill’s insistence on the exclusive use of card readers for accreditation had “foreclosed all forms of manual accreditation should the electronic method fail.”
“Let me say very quickly that many people don’t understand the implication of signing an imperfect document. What the National Assembly should do is to perfect the document and send it back, then the President (Buhari) will sign it,” he said.
The House Leader said no law mandated the president to disclose his reasons for rejecting a bill, adding that by vetoing the bill, the president had sought to protect Nigerians.
“The constitution is very clear; it does not require the president to give a reason for veto. All he has to do is to say ‘I am not signing’. However, what the president has done is to protect all Nigerians. He wants all votes to count in 2019.
“We have seen instances where the card readers have failed. What Mr President has done is to protect everybody in Nigeria. That means, you can do your electronic accreditation, but also give room for the manual alternative where card reader fails,” Gbajabiamila submitted.
The House requires the votes of at least two-thirds of its 360 members to override the president’s veto.
Lawmakers of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) will today decide whether or not to go ahead with the process of overriding President Buhari’s veto a member of the caucus told Daily Trust.
Recall that some PDP lawmakers in the House, led by Ali Madaki (PDP, Kano) attempted to initiate debate on the president’s letter informing the House of the veto.
In his letter to the National Assembly, President Buhari had pointed out certain sections of the bill that needed clarification to avoid “creating legislative uncertainty” ahead of the forthcoming 2019 general elections, urging the lawmakers to allow the amendment take effect after the 2019 general elections.
Meanwhile Naija News learnt that both chambers of the National Assembly including the Senate and House of Reps have only four days to sit at plenary and override the president before they proceed on their Christmas break next Thursday, December 20.
A PDP member who spoke on condition of anonymity said, “We will brief you people (the press) tomorrow (today) and then disclose our position concerning the Electoral Act. As you know, this is an important issue and we can’t be speaking to you individually. We will speak as a caucus”.
At the Senate, an APC senator has disclosed in confidence that they were ever ready for the PDP senators to come up with the issue of overriding the president.