BusinessDay

Electoral Act: Buhari’s refusal to sign best for the polity – Mohammed

Governor Bala Mohammed of Bauchi State and People’s Democratic Party (PDP) presidential aspirant says on President Muhammadu Buhari’s refusal to sign the amendment to the 2022 Electoral Act, is good for Nigeria’s polity.

Mohammed stated this when he led a delegation to the Presidential Villa to thank Buhari for the recently inaugurated N23.5 billion World Bank-assisted upgraded Bauchi Township Water Supply Scheme.

Mohammed told State House journalists that the Electoral Act amendment process did not start on time and signing it now might go against National Electoral Commission (INEC) guidelines for elections.

Section 84 (8) of the amended Electoral Act, 2022, provides that delegates to vote at the Indirect Primaries and National Convention of political parties to elect candidates for elections shall be those democratically elected for that purpose only.

The implication is that statutory delegates, such as elected political office holders, political appointees and executive officers of political parties are not eligible to vote at primaries to nominate candidates for the 2023 general election.

It also drastically reduced the number of delegates for the party’s indirect primaries and reduced the financial implications of the delegate to the elections.

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“Well, I’m a realist. I believe that the Electoral Act is a product of the legislative process and that has been done and it was not done early enough and then we have a timeline and guideline of INEC, so we’ll have to manage it.

“I think the less the merrier as somebody who is in the race. Well, I have less delegates to go and woo, it is better for me than all these 4,000, 5,000 delegates. Anyway, that is my take.”

Mohammed, who also spoke on his chances at the forthcoming party’s convention this weekend, expressed the confidence that he would scale through the primaries.

I wouldn’t want to be subjective and arbitrary in my answers on my chances, but you know my chances. I know the diversity of this country; I was a civil servant, from level eight to level 17. I was a legislator, and I was here with you, as a member of the federal executive council.

“So, I have garnered the experience and I’m presenting myself with humility. And I believe I have received a lot of good responses from across the country, because I have people all over and everywhere.

Also speaking on former President Goodluck Jonathan, Mohammed reiterated his earlier position that he will quit the race if Jonathan enters the 2023 presidential race.

“I have said this severally that my boss is my boss, I have that feeling of gratitude. Even there are people here that I have so much gratitude for, if they’re running for something I will not run. I believe in respect because mentorship is the main thing that we should respect.

“The system of apprenticeship that is being deepened by the Igbos is what we should learn. People should know that you have a boss who will set you free and give you the resources and the capacity. If he (Jonathan) had not fished me out from where I was, I wouldn’t have been in the national limelight.”

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