Former minister of Education and the presidential candidate of the Allied Congress Party of Nigeria (ACPN), Mrs. Obiageli Ezekwesili, on Monday 10th of December, 2018 threatened to mobilise Nigerians to protest President Muhammadu Buhari’s decision to decline assent to the Electoral (Amendment) Bill 2018.
Mrs. Ezekwesili said this during a press conference held at the party’s secretariat in Abuja.
The former minister said most Nigerians wanted the smart card readers to be used for accreditation of voters during the 2019 general elections as proposed in the bill which President Buhari refused to sign.
Ezekwesili called on the international community to support the nation’s democracy by joining Nigerians to ask Buhari to sign the bill.
She also said with the President’s decision, it had become clear that he planned to rig the forthcoming elections.
Oby Ezekwesili said, “We shall organise the people to resist what has become a clear and troubling plan of President Buhari to rig the 2019 elections.
“In the court of public opinion, most Nigerians want the compulsory use of smart card readers for accreditation of voters for the 2019 elections as proposed in the 2018 bill.
“Globally, elections are evaluated on how credible, transparent, free and fair they are in process and conduct that are underpinned by sound electoral laws which are implemented without breach.
“I therefore call on the international community and friends of Nigeria to support our democracy by joining the Nigerian people to demand his assent to the Electoral Act Amendment Bill 2018. The President must be reminded to avoid all actions that would mar the genuineness of the 2019 elections.”
The ex-minister also called on all political parties to work together and ensure that the bill was signed into law.
She stated Nigerians must be ready to mobilise against the President’s position which, she said, sought to undermine democracy.
The ACPN presidential candidate said the excesses of “an incumbent who wishes to engage in political corruption can be curbed by determined Nigerian people.”
Mrs. Ezekwesili defined the 2019 elections as the moment Nigeria must entrench electoral integrity and level-playing field for all contestants.