The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has criticised President Muhammadu Buhari for withholding his assent to a proposed legislation by the National Assembly to change the sequence of general elections in the country.
The party in a statement on Tuesday signed by Kola Ologbodiyan, its national publicity secretary, said it believes in the power of the legislature to make necessary amendments to strengthen democracy.
Mr. Buhari rejected the proposed amendments to Nigeria’s Electoral Act in a letter addressed to Speaker of House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, and to the Senate President, Bukola Saraki.
The president stated amongst other reasons that the amendments infringe on the rights of INEC.
The amendment proposed by the National Assembly was aimed at altering the sequence of the 2019 election with National Assembly polls, coming first, followed by governorship and State House of Assembly, and Presidential as last contrary to INEC’s time table for the 2019 general election.
Some All Progressives Congress senators had kicked against the adoption of the report, accusing Mr. Saraki of influencing it and not allowing alternative views.
It is not certain yet whether the legislature will override the president in approving the amendments.
The opposition PDP meanwhile said it is not bothered about the 2019 polls as the ruling APC, ”which has been rejected by Nigerians” may try to influence the elections to favour itself but the people would overcome such attempts.
“The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is not surprised that President Muhammadu Buhari withheld his assent to the legislation by the National Assembly, reordering the sequence of general elections in the country, particularly given the tendencies he has continued to display as a politician.
“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.”