The Director-General of Voice of Nigeria, Mr. Osita Okechukwu has appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to sign the recently amended Electoral Act Amendment Bill, 2021.
It was reported that the Bill is receiving resistance from governors on both the platform of the All Progressives Congress, APC, and the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.
The Governors are uncomfortable with the direct mode of primary election, which they believe would make them lose relevance.
But in a statement on Sunday, Okechukwu, who is a foundation member of the APC urged the President not to throw away the baby with the bath water.
He appealed to President Buhari to endorse the Electronic Transmission contained in the Bill, which described as “the mother of Bimodal Voters Accreditation System (BIVAS).”
Okechukwu re-echoed that “BIVAS is Vaccine to Vote Rigging; the most patriotic item in the Bill, an offspring of electronic transmission which ultimately fulfills the legacy pledge of Mr President to bequeath credible, free and fair elections to Nigerians.”
“I am sincerely afraid that the controversy, hyperbole and cacophony of voices over direct primary may wittingly or unwittingly scuttle the entire Electoral Bill, thus throwing away the baby – BIVAS and the bathe water – Direct Primary. Mr President please avoid this boobytrap against electronic transmission,” Okechukwu submitted.
He observed that from the standpoint of the two leading dominant political parties, the APC the PDP, “they are for the first time in the last eight years opposed to one issue – direct primary. They also all hold the belief that with electronic transmission – BIVAS Vaccine – henceforth Presidents, Governors, Legislators, appointed officers and political parties are by this legislation willingly compelled to confer loyalty to the electorate not godfathers.”
“They are supported by incontrovertible facts that free and fair election bequeathed by BIVAS as in Anambra State gubernatorial election highlighted above will force political parties to self censorship.”