OrderPaperToday – The All Progressives Congress (APC) caucus in the House of Representatives has served notice that it would frustrate any move to override the refusal of assent to the electoral act (amendment) bill by President Muhammadu Buhari.
The caucus instead, advised the National Assembly to perfect the document and send it back for presidential assent.
Leader of the House, Femi Gbajabiamila, made this position known while fielding questions from newsmen shortly after the APC caucus met on Wednesday at the National Assembly, Abuja.
Mr. Gbajabiamila explained that “a dot or punctuation can change the meaning of a provision in the law. Just a single coma can change the meaning and make it ambiguous.”
He said “as a party we are not going to be part of those to override the president’s document”.
According to the House leader, “if the document is imperfect and you can read it anyhow or if count was removed when it should have been there, you can not even override that imperfect document. You have to first of all amend that document and start the process all over again and send it back to Mr. President.
“Mr. President has done well. If you study the constitution very well, it does not oblige the president to give any reason for veto. All he has to do is return it and say am not signing. He doesn’t have to give you any reason. But every time he has done that, he has brought forward cogent verifiable reasons why he is not signing.
“On this particular one, I believe why the president has refused to sign which we identify with is that every vote must count in Nigeria”, said Gbajabiamila.
The lawmaker said the effect of the electoral act amendment bill is that it can only accredit voters through the electronic system adding that it prevents manual registration.
“What the president has done is to protect everybody in Nigeria. Yes, do your electronic registration but make room for manual else millions will be disenfranchised and we don’t want that. It is a constitution guarantee that everybody that reside in Nigeria has the right to vote and be voted for. So we can’t breach the constitution through an amendment”, the House leader said.