Less than 24 hours to expiration of the 30-day constitutional period for President Muhammadu Buhari to sign the Electoral Act (Amendment) Bill into law, the Coalition of United Political Parties (CUPP) has raised the alarm that the President would not give his assent to the bill.
Specifically, the Coalition expressed worry that the President would not sign the bill because he was afraid that the legalisation of use of only smart card readers for accreditation of voters in the bill would work against him in the forthcoming poll, should he sign the bill into law.
Buttressing its argument, the Coalition also alleged that over 5.6 million out of the 7.1 million of the votes garnered by the President in the 2015 election in the North West geopolitical zone were without the use of smart card readers.
CUPP is a coalition of 40 opposition political parties including the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Social Democratic Party (SDP), Reformed All Progressives Congress (R-APC) – a faction of the governing APC – among others.
It also unravelled plans by the Presidency to militarise and destabilise elections in 10 states of Rivers, Delta, Akwa Ibom, Abia, Edo, Imo, Anambra, Kwara, Plateau and Benue in next year’s election.
He listed those who will spearhead the plot in the 10 states to include: Rotimi Amaechi for Rivers, Ovie Omo-Agege (Delta), Godswill Akpabio (Akwa Ibom), Chukwuemeka Wogu (Abia), Adams Oshiomhole (Edo), Hope Uzodinma (Imo), Chris Ngige (Anambra), Lai Mohammed (Kwara), Simon Lalong (Plateau) and George Akume (Benue).
While passing a vote of no confidence on the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, it lamented the politicisation of the security agencies, accusing the APC of plot to pre-load card readers with the aim of rigging the 2019 elections.
The Coalition also on Wednesday adopted Atiku Abubakar, presidential candidate of the PDP, as its consensus presidential standard bearer for the 2019 presidential election.
The Coalition announced Atiku’s emergence after a closed-door meeting at Yar’Adua Centre, Abuja.
A statement by CUPP first spokesperson, Ikenga Imo Ugochinyere, revealed that the 40 opposition parties unanimously endorsed the former Vice President.
It would be recalled that in June this year, some of the opposition parties had promised to present a consensus presidential candidate in the February 16, 2019, poll to wrest power form the APC.
Ugochinyere disclosed that the coalition parties would formally meet with Atiku in the next 48 hours for formal commencement of coalition campaign.
Explaining the rationale for Atiku’s choice, he said: “The coalition arrived at Atiku’s choice after he towered high on the criteria used by the opposition in arriving at the decision which includes national acceptability, financial capacity, spread of his political party, leadership capacity, international acceptability, experience, capacity to rebuild the economy, secure the country and unite all Nigerians among other factors.”
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