The Oodua People’s Congress (OPC) has described the Electoral Act Amendment as anti-people and anti-democratic and asked President Muhammadu Buhari not to sign it into law but instead return it to the National Assembly to make Electronic Transfer of election results a compulsory component in the electoral process.
OPC President, Otunba Wasiu Afolabi, also known as “Askari,” made the statement on Monday and said that the lawmakers’ refusal to endorse Electronic Transfer of results showed that they preferred to come into office not through the people’s mandate but through rigging and fraudulent elections.
Other matters that OPC’s four-point statement addressed included:
Asking Buhari to cooperate with Southern governors to end insecurity through the banning of open grazing and other related policies;
Warning Northern groups not to overheat the polity and to stop their confrontational posture to the South’s demand for Power Rotation and a Southern President in 2023;
Demanding that security agents should call off the manhunt for Sunday Igboho and urgently release all those arrested in that despicable July 1 raid on his Ibadan home.
On the Electoral Act that the National Assembly endorsed last week, Afolabi said: “Since INEC has said it has capacity to transfer results electronically, President Buhari owes the duty to sign the Legislature’s anti-people Electoral Act into law. He will thus be writing his name in gold in the pages of Nigerian history. President Goodluck Jonathan modernised the electoral process by giving Nigeria INEC card readers to authenticate the Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) and banish fake voters’ cards forever. Jonathan will never be forgotten for that laudable innovation that enabled Buhari himself to win that 2015 election during which card readers were used for the first time. What value will Buhari be remembered to have brought to the democratic process?
“It beats the imagination that legislators who transact banking business and instantly get bank alerts on their phones and laptops, whose children’s JAMB and WAEC results come through SMSs, whose children take lectures and do exams online, will not ascribe to election results being transmitted electronically. It is very strange.”
Furthermore, OPC expressed misgivings on the harsh voice of Northern groups against the suggestion by governors of the 17 Southern states that the slot of the President should revolve to the South in 2023.
Afolabi said: “From where do these misguided Northern youth and Northern groups derive their sense of entitlement, arrogance and combativeness? Why do they feel that they must have their way on which zone becomes President and the South cannot aspire to the position?
“OPC hereby urges true leaders of the North to take charge and caution their belligerent people to take things easy. Their arrogant posturing about power shift will only heat up the Nigerian polity.”
Reminding the government that it owes citizens the primary duty of providing security, OPC challenged President Buhari to join hands with Southern governors to halt the spiralling insecurity suffered by Nigerian citizens in the South through kidnapping, raping and ransom payment by Fulani herdsmen.
The OPC President said: “Fulani killers are not spirits. But the security agents usually look the other way when these killers are grouping up to strike. Even when citizens provide information to pre-empt and prevent bloody attacks, the police do nothing. Police and DSS know where these wicked people have their camps and formations but they would never go there to dislodge them. And when the likes of Sunday Igboho organise themselves to defend the people, they are hunted down by state authorities. This is a clear case of double standard.”
According to OPC, the kidnappings and killings ravaging the South justified the call by Southern governors to ban open grazing of cattle as a necessary step towards restoring security in their zone, and it urged the Federal Government to support the policy rather than fight against it.
Afolabi said OPC would provide support to enforce the ban throughout the South-West.