Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike says President Mohammedu Buhari is afraid that giving assent to the Electoral Act Amendment Bill will make his party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) to fail in the 2023 general election.
Governor Wike made the assertion at the inauguration of lecture halls, laboratories and offices of the Faculty of Basic Medical Sciences of the Bayelsa Medical University in Yenagoa on Saturday.
The Governor pointed to the inclusion of the compulsory transmission of electoral results electronically in the Electoral Act Amendment Bill is now the APC’s greatest fear.
“They are afraid that if INEC in 2023 transmits election results electronically that is the end of them, because they know they will fail.”
Governor Wike wondered why the APC controlled Federal Government always seeks excuse to justify their unwillingness to sign into law what will advance the country’s electoral process.
He explained that in 2019, the president declined assent because the compulsory use of the card reader was included, which was seen as capable of dimming their chance of winning the election.
Again, Governor Wike noted that the President also recently declined assent on the Electoral Act Amendment Bill on the basis that the National Assembly included direct primaries and that a serving minister have to resign before being qualified to contest for election.
“Every time this government, this party will find an excuse of not signing an Electoral Act. In 2018 to 2019 when they inserted the card reader in the Electoral Act Amendment Bill, Mr President said no, it is too early, I will not sign because they know if they had inserted it (card reader) in 2019 election it would have been difficult for APC to have won.
“Now, we are in 2022, going for 2023, National Assembly in their wisdom said there must be direct primaries by all the parties, Mr President came and said no, put options. National Assembly in their wisdom has amended the bill and agreed to what Mr President said. Now again, Mr President said I’m in dilemma, I’m consulting. What is the consultation? That there is a clause that says if a minister or a commissioner want to run for election you have to resign, that is why up till now Mr President cannot assent to the Electoral Act Amendment Bill.”
Governor Wike said these are trivial excuses because in 2015, he resigned as minister, contested and won the governorship of Rivers State. He then wonders the basis of the claim that the president is consulting or that they are in a dilemma.
“After all, when I was a minister I resigned to run for governorship. I resigned and I won the primaries. So what is this hulabaloo of not resigning and you keep Nigerians fate hanging. Everyday, Nigerians are thinking, what is going to be the future, where are we heading to?”
The governor described as regrettable nobody does what is good for the citizenry and the country. He also opined that Nigeria does not have a National Assembly that has what it takes to do the right thing for the good of the country.
Governor Wike spoke further, commending the Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri for his development stride as it is characteristic of governors elected on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
He said while those of the APC are full of excuses and justify their lack of commitment to the wellbeing of their respective States, those of the PDP deplore wisdom, and resources to provide infrastructure that improve the life of people in their State.
Governor Wike donated N500 Million Naira towards the completion of the Faculty of Basic Clinical Sciences building project at the Bayelsa Medical University, which is still at DPC, (damp proof course) level.
He explained his delight at the courage of Senator Diri in providing such training institution of medical personnel and said that in Niger Delta, there is need for mutual support to be engendered while resisting any attempt to create division among the States.
On his part, Governor of Bayelsa State, Senator Douye Diri said his administration has built on the vision of his predecessors in expanding the Medical University and increasing the programmes of studies to make it one of the best in the country.
Senator Diri explained that Governor Wike was invited to perform the inauguration because he has already distinguished himself as a lover of medical education and relentlessly provided quality projects in developing.
In his address, Vice Chancellor of Bayelsa Medical University, Yenagoa, Prof. Ebitimitula Etebu said the Bayelsa Medical University had 8 academic programmes in the faculty of science and basic medical sciences when it was established in 2018.
According to him, under the administration of Senator Douye Diri, there are now 18 academic programmes with the student at 200 level of studies.