Governor Hope Uzodimma of Imo State has described as unnecessary the worries expressed by some Nigerians that President Muhammadu Buhari was delaying his assent to the amended Electoral Act as passed by the National Assembly.
The amended Electoral Act is already before the President waiting for his assent before it becomes operational and a legal framework.
Addressing the media in his office on Wednesday, February 23, 2022, the Governor said the hullabaloo over the shift on the date from Wednesday (February 23, 2022) to Friday (February 25, 2022) for the signing of the amended Electoral Act was uncalled for and the anxiety unnecessary “as President Buhari has ample time within the constitutional provision to assent the amended document into law.”
Governor Uzodimma said: “To give Nigerians the best, the President has to study the Amended Act before signing it into law, and if in the process he discovers things in the Act that are not in the interest of the people of Nigeria he has the constitutional mandate to move it back to the National Assembly for corrections before his assent.
“The Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria has expressly defined the processes a Bill or an Act must undergo before the President will consider it for assent and to the best of my knowledge as a Parliamentarian none of those processes has been violated by Mr. President.
“The President should be allowed to do his job without being put under unnecessary pressure, particularly the worries and anxiety expressed by some Nigerians, especially through the media.”
Governor Uzodimma also explained that the Friday, February 25, 2022 date should not also be seen to be sacrosanct, because the 30 days window from the time the amended Act was returned to the President still subsists.
The Governor further explained that “even at that, if the President has observed anything that is not in the interest of the people he has the constitutional right to still send it back to the National Assembly for corrections to be effected.”
Governor Uzodimma’s words: “The President, having been elected by Nigerians, is the only person in a better position to reason out what will benefit the people, most especially as it concerns Security of the entire Nation.”
Governor Uzodimma therefore advised Nigerians who are worried to understand that “there are very many other issues that call for attention of both the President and the National Assembly, what is before the President is an Amended Electoral Act and at the appropriate time the President will Assent to it.”
Commenting on the rescheduled All Progressives Congress (APC) Convention, the Governor said there is nothing to worry about.
He also gave reasons.
“The leadership of the Party is strong, the membership of the Party is also strong and hopefully by March 26, 2022 a new leadership that will be acceptable to all will emerge in APC by consensus.”
He said the APC is being careful not to be harassed into doing things that will not be in the overall interest of the Party.
He noted, for instance, that the APC has the history of all her past National Chairmen emerging through consensus, insisting that “there will be nothing wrong for the Party at the end of the day to have its National Chairman emerge through consensus.”
On the issue of the APC zoning the President of Nigeria, the Governor categorically said his Party is being careful because “our interest is first to have a cohesive and united Nigeria that will take care of every Nigerian irrespective of tribe, greed or religion.”
“Therefore, while considering zoning as very important, the party will be looking at it as a family business,” Governor Uzodimma maintained.