Electoral act: Buhari’s request for deletion of clause on political appointees selfish, says Wike


Nyesom Wike, governor of Rivers, says President Muhammadu Buhari’s request for the national assembly to remove clause 84(12) of the electoral act is “selfish”.


Following his approval of the electoral bill on Friday, Buhari asked the national assembly to expunge section 84(12) because it disenfranchises serving political appointees.


The section in contention reads: “No political appointee at any level shall be a voting delegate or be voted for at the convention or congress of any political party for the purpose of the nomination of candidates for any election.”


Speaking on the development, Wike alleged that the president is also trying to protect his appointees, adding that Buhari’s position doesn’t promote free and fair elections.


 “Mr President has told the world he is trying to protect some of his appointees who want to run election, and who are afraid of leaving office knowing fully well that having left the office, it would be difficult for them to assert or to influence the outcome of party primaries,” Wike said, according to a statement by Kelvin Ebiri, his spokesman.


“If Mr President really believes in free, fair and transparent election, and for everybody to have a level playing ground, Mr President will not call for such amendment.


“Mr President knows the function of the legislature is to make laws. The function of the executive is to implement the law, and the function of the judiciary is to interpret the law.


“Now Mr. President is not only doing the work of the executive, he has also delved into the work of the judiciary of interpreting the law, knowing where there is conflict.


“I wonder why Mr President didn’t know when he appended his signature to the Police Trust Fund; that was in conflict with the provision of the constitution.”


The governor also said the provisions of the act, particularly the electronic transmission of results, will boost the confidence of Nigerians in their elected representatives.


“For whatever it is worth, let us say Nigerians are happy that after all said and done, the president and the APC administration, for the first time, have bowed to pressure of Nigerians in order to have a law that enables our electoral process to be transparent. But again, this tells you the kind of party in power,” he said.


 “Electronic transmission of results will give confidence to the people, to the electorate; and anybody who is elected will now sit up to say it is not going to be business as usual.”

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