CNPP reacts to conduct of FCT Council polls, demands assent amended Electoral Bill
The Conference of Nigeria Political Parties (CNPP) has congratulated the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) over the successful conduct of the Area Council elections in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja, despite initial hitches.
The umbrella association of all registered political parties and political associations in the country then called on INEC “to continue to improve on the conduct of free and fair elections ahead of 2023 general elections.”
In a statement signed by its Secretary-General, Willy Ezugwu, on Monday, CNPP reiterated its call on President Muhammadu Buhari to urgently sign the re-amended Electoral Bill recently transmitted to his office by the National Assembly.
According to the CNPP, “the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has done well within the limits of the law, but there is still room for improvement, especially in the area of ensuring that no eligible Nigerian voter is disenfranchised in 2023.
“As a grassroots body, the CNPP is aware that many Nigerians who have been seeking to transfer their voters’ registration to their new polling unit are finding it difficult, some since 2011.
“For the fact that every Nigerian has the right to live in any part of the country and relocate due to jobs or in search of greener pastures, such a category of voters who have moved must not be disenfranchised in 2023 general elections”, the statement observed.
On the re-amended Electoral Bill awaiting presidential assent, the CNPP said, “With the conclusion of the area council elections in the FCT, there is no excuse for Mr. President not to immediately assent to the re-amended electoral bill before him.
“Any further delay will raise the suspicion that the Presidency is sourcing for excuses to deny Nigerians free and fair elections in 2023.
“The President had earlier scrutinised the electoral bill, raised his objections, even though his reasons were not convincing enough, but the National Assembly has re-amended the bill to accommodate his requests.
“In that light, it was expected that Mr. President should have acted promptly and assented to the bill, at least, to attempt to convince Nigerians that his objections were born out of patriotism.
“The CNPP reiterates that the best legacy Mr. President can leave at this time of our national life is to bequeath on the country a platform for transparent elections, of which assent to the re-amended Electoral Act is critically primary,” the CNPP said.