The Peoples Democratic Party has tasked President Muhammadu Buhari to as a matter of urgency signed the Electoral Act Amendment bill before him to reaffirm his commitment to democratic ethos thereby strengthening the country’s democracy.
It explained that the call had become imperative in order for the All Progressives Congress-led administration to salvage itself and restore the virtues that June 12 symbolized in the history, which it claimed, had been eroded by the Buhari government.
The PDP, through its spokesperson, Kola Ologbondiyan, also berated the administration for what it described as Buhari’s refusal to respect the rule of law to the latter, adding that it behooves on the President to shun selective respect for court orders.
Ologbondiyan, while addressing a world press conference in Abuja on Thursday, said as Nigerians mark the first anniversary of the declaration of June 12 as Democracy Day, Buhari must initiate the process of returning the Electoral Act Amendment Bill to the National Assembly, with a strong commitment to sign it into law immediately it is passed by the legislature within two weeks.
The party, however, urged the Buhari-led government to use the last three years of its final tenure in office to restore the credibility of elections in the country by shunning electoral malpractices, nepotism in appointments, political intolerance, violation of constitutional provisions, financial recklessness and disobedience of court orders.
“At the foundation of every genuine democracy is a credible electoral process. Painfully, the Buhari Presidency and the APC have continued to suppress every genuine effort for reforms that will improve our electoral processes. It is instructive to note that President Buhari and APC came to power in 2015 as a result of electoral reform carried out by PDP administration.
“Sadly, Mr. President has frustrated every move to ensure a more credible election, particularly by refusing to sign the Electoral Act Amendment bill sent to him by the NASS. In the last five years, our democracy has been under siege and witnessed the worst forms of violations in our political history.
“Our party holds that it behooves on President Buhari to initiate an electoral reform process immediately, even if that will be the only legacy that posterity will record for him in his 8 years in office. Any failure to initiate an electoral reform will amount to a deliberate plot by the APC to kill our hard-earned democracy and return our nation to a state of nature where the will of any individual, supported by bandits and vagabonds will become the norm.
“President Buhari should also take steps to end the nepotism and divisive body language associated with his administration. He should also take further steps to end the constitutional violations, abuse of human rights, political intolerance, harassment of the opposition, and dissenting voices associated with his administration.
“Furthermore, Mr. President’s June 12 address should speak to the rejigging of our nation’s security architecture as well as more decisive steps that will be taken by his administration to save Nigerians from untimely and sudden gruesome deaths in the hands of bandits and insurgents,” Ologbondiyan said.