The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Tuesday slammed President Muhammadu Buhari for rejecting the 2019 amended election timetable as passed by the National Assembly and sent for his assent.
The President’s rejection of the bill was conveyed in an official communication to the two chambers of the National Assembly and read at plenary Tuesday.
Giving reasons for his rejection, Buhari said: “The amendment to the sequence of elections in Section 25 of the principal act, may infringe upon the constitutionally guaranteed discretion of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to organize, undertake and supervise elections provided in Section 15(A) of the third statue to the Constitution;
“The amend to Section 138 of the principal act to delete two crucial grounds upon which an election may be challenged by candidates, unduly limits the rights of candidates in elections to a free and fair electoral review process;
“The amendment to Section 152 Subsection 325 of the Principal Act may raise Constitutional issues over the competence of the National Assembly to legislate over local government elections.
“Please accept Distinguished Senators, the assurances of my highest consideration.”
However, in a statement by the PDP National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, the party said it was not surprised by the President’s action given the tendencies he has continued to display as a politician.
The party said: “The PDP believes in democracy and subscribes to all its tenets including the respect for the powers of the National Assembly to make laws and to amend such laws as occasion demands.
“In the light of this development, the PDP, and indeed all well-meaning Nigerians, now eagerly await the final decision of the National Assembly on this amendment.
“As a party, we are not afraid of the 2019 general elections because we know that Nigerians have already rejected President Buhari and his dysfunctional All Progressives Congress (APC).
“Against this backdrop, the PDP assures to provide all the members of our great party a level playing ground to choose a presidential candidate in a national convention that promises to be open, free, fair, credible and transparent.
“We know that with the support of Nigerians, any candidate that emerges on our platform ahead of 2019 will clinically defeat President Buhari at the polls and lead our nation back to the path of progress, national cohesion and a vibrant economy.”