Bala Mohammed hails non-signing of Electoral Act Amendment
Bauchi State Governor Bala Mohammed yesterday dismissed the frenzy that has trailed the refusal of President Muhammadu Buhari to sign the latest amendment to the Electoral Act, saying a smaller number of delegates are in the interest of aspirants.
He also dismissed the rumour of the possibility of former President Goodluck Jonathan running again for the office of president on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
He said the man he addressed as his boss would not contest for the office on any party’s platform.
Mohammed, a presidential aspirant on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), spoke while briefing State House correspondents after leading an entourage of Bauchi State representatives on a thank you visit to President Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
He said the process of amending the Electoral Act did not start in time, adding that signing now might go against the Independent National Electoral Commission’s (INEC’s) guidelines for elections.
Some political parties had in recent time pressured President Buhari to assent to the amendment to the current Section 84 (8), which provides that delegates to vote at the indirect primaries and national convention of political parties to elect candidates for elections shall be those democratically elected for that purpose only.
The implication is that statutory delegates such as elected political office holders, political appointees and executive officers of political parties are not eligible to vote at the primaries to nominate candidates for the 2023 general election.
The new Section 84 has in effect drastically pruned the number of delegates for party indirect primaries and reduced the financial implications of delegate elections.
Asked how he felt that the President has not signed the electoral act, he said: “Well, I’m a realist. I believe that the Electoral Act is a product of legislative process and that has been done and it was not done earlier and then we have a timeline and guideline of INEC. So, we will have to manage it.
“I think the fewer the merrier. As somebody who is in the race, well, I have few delegates to woo. It is better for me than all these 4,000, 5,000 delegates. Anyway, that is my take.”