President Muhammadu Buhari’s proposal for the national legislature to repeal article 84(12) of the electoral act, according to Rivers Governor Nyesom Wike, is “selfish.”
Following his acceptance of the electoral bill on Friday, Buhari requested that section 84(12) be repealed, as it disenfranchises serving political appointees.
The section in contention reads: “No political appointee at any level shall be a voting delegate or be voted for at the convention or congress of any political party for the purpose of the nomination of candidates for any election.”
Wike claimed that the president is also attempting to protect his appointees, and that Buhari’s approach does not encourage free and fair elections.
“Mr President has told the world he is trying to protect some of his appointees who want to run election, and who are afraid of leaving office knowing fully well that having left the office, it would be difficult for them to assert or to influence the outcome of party primaries,” Wike said, according to a statement by Kelvin Ebiri, his spokesman.
“If Mr President really believes in free, fair and transparent election, and for everybody to have a level playing ground, Mr President will not call for such amendment.
“Mr President knows the function of the legislature is to make laws. The function of the executive is to implement the law, and the function of the judiciary is to interpret the law.
“Now Mr. President is not only doing the work of the executive, he has also delved into the work of the judiciary of interpreting the law, knowing where there is conflict.
“I wonder why Mr President didn’t know when he appended his signature to the Police Trust Fund; that was in conflict with the provision of the constitution.”