Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike has said President Mohammed Buhari is afraid that giving assent to the Electoral Act Amendment Bill would make his party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) fail in the 2023 general elections.
Speaking at the inauguration of lecture halls, laboratories and offices of the Faculty of Basic Medical Sciences of the Bayelsa Medical University in Yenagoa yesterday, the governor said the inclusion of the compulsory transmission of electoral results electronically in the Electoral Act Amendment Bill was the APC’s greatest fear.
He said: “They are afraid that if INEC in 2023 transmits election results electronically that is the end for them because they know they will fail.”
Wike wondered why the APC-controlled federal government always seeks excuses to justify their unwillingness to sign into law what will advance the country’s electoral process.
“Now, we are in 2022, going for 2023, the National Assembly in their wisdom said there must be direct primaries by all the parties, Mr President came and said no, put options. The National Assembly in their wisdom has amended the bill and agreed to what Mr President said.
“Now again, Mr President said I’m in dilemma, I’m consulting. What is the consultation? That there is a clause that says if a minister or a commissioner wants to run for election you have to resign, that is why up till now Mr President cannot assent to the Electoral Act Amendment Bill.”
The governor, who stated that these were trivial excuses because, in 2015, he resigned as minister, contested and won the governorship of Rivers State, wondered the basis of the claim that the president is consulting or that they are in a dilemma.
He said: “After all when I was a minister I resigned to run for the governorship. I resigned and I won the primaries. So what are this hullabaloo of not resigning and you keeping Nigerians fate hanging? Every day, Nigerians are thinking, what is going to be the future, where are we heading to?”
Wike described as regrettable a situation where nobody does what is good for the citizenry and the country. He also opined that Nigeria does not have a National Assembly that has what it takes to do the right thing for the good of the country.
The governor commended his Bayelsa State counterpart, Senator Douye Diri, for his development strides as it was characteristic of governors elected on the platform of the PDP.
He said while those of the APC was full of excuses and justify their lack of commitment to the wellbeing of their respective states, those of the PDP deplore wisdom and resources to provide the infrastructure that improves the lives of people in their state.