The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has condemned the “conditionalities” on the electoral act amendment bill, as it relates to electronic transmission of election results.
The national assembly had blocked the transmission of election results through electoral means in clause 50(2) of the bill.
The action drew criticism from many Nigerians, which prompted the federal lawmakers to restore the electronic transmission clause.
The bill was finally passed on Thursday at the senate, but with provisions on electronic transmission of results, while the house of representatives is yet to make a decision on the bill.
Following a motion, the senate voted in favour of allowing the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) to certify national coverage, followed by an approval by the national assembly before the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) can transmit results electronically.
Reacting in a statement by Kola Ologbondiyan, its spokesperson, the PDP said the decision of the APC-led senate is an attempt to undermine the country’s electoral process.
The PDP said the action of the APC senators is a direct affront and a “defilement” of the 1999 constitution, which confers operational independence on INEC to conduct elections free from interferences.
“The action of the APC senators is an atrocious assault on the sensibilities of Nigerians, who looked up to the Senate for improvement in our electoral process in a manner that will engender free, fair and credible process,” the PDP said.
“It is outrageous that the APC and its Senators, in their desperate bid to annex the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), seek to route a statutorily independent commission to the approval of an individual masquerading in the Nigeria Communication Commission (NCC); an agency under executive control in addition to an extra endorsement of the legislature, before conducting elections.
“This action of the APC senators is a direct affront, novel in its recklessness and a defilement of the 1999 Constitution (as amended), which clearly conferred operational independence to INEC to conduct elections, free from interferences and regulations from any other agency of government.
“The decision of the APC Senators, therefore, amounts to a suspension of the 1999 constitution (as amended) which is a recipe for crisis that could derail our democracy and destabilize our nation.
“It is, to say the least, a preparation for mass rigging of elections across Nigeria by the APC, which must be firmly resisted.”
The party, however, commended PDP senators for their “resilience” in voting for the electronic transmission of results.
The PDP encouraged the house of representatives to “return to the chamber tomorrow and save our nation from the machination of the APC as being pushed in the senate”.