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2023: Why Buhari, Osinbajo, Governors may not vote during APC primaries

Buhari-Osinbajo

President Muhammadu Buhari will not be able to vote in the forthcoming primaries of the All Progressives Congress (APC), except he signs the fresh amendment to the Electoral Act into law by Sunday.

This will also affect the Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, National Assembly members, governors, their deputies and other statutory delegates.

Others may include the National Working Committee members, state party chairmen and secretaries, local government chairmen, their deputies, councillors and party chairmen in the 774 local government areas.

This is as the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) stressed that political parties were expected to submit their delegates’ lists not later than seven days to the primaries.

This implies that since the APC presidential primary starts on Sunday, May 29, if the President does not sign the bill into law by Sunday (tomorrow), the political office holders, including Buhari, may not be able to vote unless they have been voted as delegates.

It also means that if the President does not sign the bill into law by today (Saturday), the political office holders in the opposition Peoples Democratic Party won’t be able to vote unless they are voted as delegates since the party already fixed its presidential primary for May 28 and 29.

Consequently, there is heightened tension in the APC and the PDP over the delay by the President in signing the bill into law.

Some party chieftains, including the Director-General of the Voice of Nigeria, Osita Okechukwu; the majority leader in the House of Representatives, Ado Doguwa; and the Ndudi Elumelu-led minority caucus in the House, told The PUNCH on Friday that there could be confusion and crisis if Buhari did not sign the bill promptly.

“Our caucus calls on all Nigerians, the civil society, the international community and all lovers of democracy to prevail on President Buhari to immediately sign the amendment to the Electoral Act, 2022 and save our nation from an avoidable crisis,” Elumelu said in a statement by.

Doguwa also said, “I am aware that the amended clause has been transmitted to Mr President for his assent. I am optimistic that Mr President will assent to it without hesitation whatsoever. It’s an amendment that was well-intended and meant well for the smooth selection of candidates in the various political parties. Any legislation transmitted by the National Assembly to Mr President for assent takes 30 calendar days before counteraction can be contemplated by the parliament. It’s my hope that Mr President will do the needful before it gets out of hand.”

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