The leadership of All Progressive Congress, APC, Abia state chapter has lauded the wisdom of President Muhammadu Buhari in signing the Electoral Act Amendment Bill into law.
The party said that under the development, no state’s mandate can be stolen, nor their citizens groan under confused and incompetent leaders.
This is contained in a press statement issued by APC’s State Chairman, Hon. Dr Kingsley Ononogbu, who expressed delight on what he described as President Muhammadu Buhari’s groundbreaking decision to sign the Electoral Bill into law.
Ononogbu stated that the p-resident’s gesture is worthy of commendation by Nigerians, as everyone now feels more confident that the 2023 General Elections will be free, fair, and above all, credible.
He explained that going by the content of the bill, the president has put into check the electoral fraud being perpetrated by fraudulent politicians, particularly in Abia and other states of the Federation.
He said that Abia is the biggest beneficiary of the signing, because in past electoral exercises, the State has consistently been riddled with electoral malpractices and fraud, an act which has perennially kept her on the lowest rung of the development ladder.
According to him, under stolen leadership and gross incompetence of the leaders who entered Government House through the back door, Abia has become the most backward state in the country.
“We in Abia have had to endure several years of bad leadership and gross underdevelopment, but by the signing of the electoral document, there will no longer be fear that an INEC commissioner will be forced to declare fake results for fear of being harmed, since the new bill takes care of that.
“Clause 65 of the electoral bill empowers INEC to evaluate declarations and returns made under dubious circumstances and alter results management process and effectively discourage politicians from pressuring election workers to declare manufactured, bogus election results that can only be disputed in court”.
Ononogbu elucidated that the issue of bloated election results, which has denied Ndi Abia the opportunity of getting the right leadership will never happen again, as over voting which happens when the total number of votes cast in a polling unit in an election exceeds the total number of accredited voters in that polling unit will now be exposed and those behind it will be brought to book.
“Electoral bill, Clause 51 stipulates that the “total number of accredited voters” will become a deciding factor in the election’s legality, meaning that no fake votes will be admissible in results declaration by INEC”.
Political neutrality, he added has become a necessity for INEC staff, as no member of any political party will work for INEC and influence outcome of election results, which has become bad news for election riggers in Abia State.
Ononogbu said that clause 8(5) grants political neutrality to INEC personnel, which implies that a politician or member of a political party cannot be an INEC official.
“The Clause states that any INEC official with political affiliations commits an offence and is subject to a fine of N5,000,000 or imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years, or both, if convicted, he said.
“Electronic accreditation of voters in Clause 47 in the Electoral Act will also ensure that citizens can be electronically accredited using Smart Card Readers or any other technical equipment determined by INEC, as with this, no one will be disenfranchised for the dubious goal of rigging elections, he said further.
While urging Abians to get Permanent Voters Card, the party boss called on electorates to support APC by joining the party now, pledging that not only would their votes be protected, but that the party would ensure that best hands form the next government and give Ndi Abia the best leadership. END