Sources within the All Progressives Congress, APC, and Aso Rock Presidential Villa confirmed over the weekend that President Buhari is disturbed at the huge financial resources being deployed by politicians to woo delegates for the presidential and governorship primaries.
Fazed by the number of money politicians are throwing at potential delegates, a source inside Aso Rock disclosed that part of “President Buhari’s concern is that this type of expensive venture is capable of fueling corruption in the country.
“With the number of statutory delegates that will increase the total number of delegates in our party from about 2,400 to between 10,000 and 12,000, it means more money will be needed to induce delegates. The President considers this wasteful.
For the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, it has only 810 delegates but with statutory delegates, the number will shoot up to 3,900.”
The source explained further that “whereas some political parties have already begun their primaries, signing the amended version now will mean shifting the goal post or the rules in the middle of a game or causing the political parties to start afresh.”
Vanguard however gathered that as part of guidelines released by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, political parties are expected to submit the names of their delegates to the convention at least, no later than seven days to the convention.
By that guideline, the PDP would be expected to have submitted the names of its delegates to INEC yesterday.
Based on the Electoral Act earlier signed by President Buhari, PDP is going ahead with its primaries.
If the President later signs the amended version, an INEC official who spoke to the vanguard on condition of anonymity said “this would create a muddle.”
Buhari’s right to refer the bill for checks says Olawepo-Hashim
But throwing his weight behind the president’s refusal to sign the amended act, a chieftain of the APC, Mr Gbenga Olawepo-Hashim, said Buhari is right to refer to the new Electoral Act Amendment Bill for due diligence.
Olawepo-Hashim, in a statement by his media office in Abuja, said: “People have been churning out different versions of the act as if laws are primary school instructions of a village headmaster.
“We must put a stop to this and do things properly and be fair to the President and don’t ridicule his office by bringing things not properly digested for him to sign. The issue is about the political interest of different factions of the political elite working in cahoot with INEC. They want to present Nigerians with a fait accompli through the ongoing primaries of the two major political parties. The President can see through this.
“The solution as I have argued is simple. Let primaries hold between now and August when the Executive leadership, the Legislative leadership, INEC and the party leadership would have made input into an acceptable electoral act the President can sign.
“The Electoral Act says primaries should hold 180 days before the election and 180 days in August so, why the stampede? There must be transparency and fairness to all sides. No one should ambush anyone. I have been saying this since March.”
Culled – Vanguard