The Northern Youth Council of Nigeria (NYCN) has expressed dismay at President Muhammadu Buhari’s decision to reject the Amended Electoral Act.
The youths noted that President Buhari would be remembered as the President who never stood up to the majority of his citizens, but instead allowed himself to be caged by a few elements who cannot win elections in their respective units without rigging.
In a statement made available on Wednesday, Comrade Isah Abubakar, President, Northern Youth Council of Nigeria, said, “This will not be the first time Mr President will present himself as an agent opposed to democratic advancement.” Despite being the primary beneficiary of Yar’adua/Goodluck Jonathan’s led electoral reform, the Electoral Act was amended and forwarded to him for ascending during the tenure of the 8th Assembly led by Senator Bukola Saraki.”
“If previous leaders had not assumed the position of elder statesmen and lived above their selfish and parochial interests, Mr Buhari would have been rearing his not-so-productive cows in Daura with no hope of winning an election,” the group contended. A weak law makes it impossible to hold a credible election.”
The Council viewed the security reasons cited as one of the reasons he withheld ascension as self-incrimination, emphasizing that as President who swore an oath to protect every Nigerian, he cannot be talking about insecurity after six years in office.
“If Mr President believes Nigeria is not safe for direct primaries, we wish to reiterate our call for him to resign and allow others with the capability to take over in order to suppress all insurgents that developed wings under President Buhari’s not-so-watchful eyes,” the group said.
“On the issue of finances, do we need to remind Mr President that at the rate the country is going, the only thing that can guarantee national cohesion going forward is perceived credible election, where the election is not widely accepted by all, and it leads to crisis, the money we think we want to save by not giving Nigerians what they yearned for will be paltry in comparison to what will be used in trying to restore the country to normalcy,” the group said. As usual, we know that Mr. President and the tiny cabals deceiving him will disregard our wise counsel, but posterity will judge us right.”
On the issue of INEC staff overstretching and additional cost implications, the statement explained that Nigerians are all aware that all political parties conduct their congresses through direct means to elect ward executives, which is mandatory to be conducted under INEC’s watchful eyes, before cascading to indirect means at the Local Government, State, and National levels.
It went on to say that it applies to all political parties, with the exception of a few briefcase parties that are only found in Abuja and ballot papers during election years, and that INEC has never complained about a lack of funds to monitor those activities.
It urged the National Assembly to use Section 58(5) of the Constitution to pass the bill into law, requiring a two-thirds majority in both the Senate and the House of Representatives.
It assured Nigerians that they would support the National Assembly in its rejection of the nomination of Lauretta Onochie, a partisan politician and Presidential aide, as INEC Commissioner.