- Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, chairman of Southeast Senate Caucus, blasted his colleagues who opposed the bill changing the order of elections
- He claimed that the Senators who opposed the changes are those that rely on President Buhari’s support to win elections
- The APC Senators who opposed the changes, however, said that the amendment and process of passage of the bill were illegal and that the bill will not stand.
The chairman of southeast Senate caucus, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, PDP, Abia south took a swipe at senators who opposed the changing of the election sequence in the 2019 general elections, saying that they constitute those who cannot win elections except by President Muhammadu Buhari’s support.
Senator Abaribe said those calling for the abandoning of the arrangement which places the election of the president last, came to power on the back of their political parties and influence of President Buhari in the last 2015 general polls, Vanguard reports.
He said: “Anybody who attaches himself to Buhari for re-election is not fit, abinitio, to be a senator. It is high time politicians stopped riding on the back of some political establishments or parties to win elections in Nigeria.”
NAIJ.com gathered that the National Assembly conference committee had harmonised the different versions of the passed bill from the two chambers now ready for onward submission to the president for assent.
However, 10 All Progressives Congress (APC) senators on Wednesday, February 14, opposed the amendment, which they said was targeted at President Buhari.
The lawmakers expressed their agitation by walking out of the chamber to address the press, while the plenary presided by Senate President, Bukola Saraki, was still on.
Led by the chairman of Northern Senators Caucus and former governor of Nasarawa state, Senator Abdullahi Adamu, the 10 senators were reportedly annoyed that their argument against the bill was truncated at the plenary by Senate President Saraki and vowed that the amendment would not stand.
The aggrieved APC senators included Binta Garba (Adamawa); Ali Wakili (Bauchi); Kurfi Umaru (Katsina); Andrew Uchendu (Rivers); Abdullahi Danbaba (Sokoto); Ovie Omo- Agege, Delta; Yahaya Abdullahi (Kebbi); Abu Ibrahim (Katsina); and Benjamin Uwajumogu (Imo).
They stated that the amendment and process of passage were illegal and vowed that it would not stand.
NAIJ.com previously reported that Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) revealed that the implementation of the amended Electoral Act altering the sequence of elections depends on the assent of President Buhari.
Solomon Soyebi, INEC's national commissioner, voter education and publicity, disclosed this on Thursday, February 15, during his appearance on Channels Television
When he was asked on the possibility of implementing the order of election by INEC in the 2019 general elections, Soyebi said: “Unfortunately, yes, if the amendment becomes a law now.
“If it’s assented to by the President, it becomes a law. We have no basis to disobey the law; we have to work within the law as it is.”
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