The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has thrown its full weight behind lawmakers who are rejecting what it sees as a complete scam.
The party said through Uche Secondus, its National Chairman, that it would vehemently oppose the decision taken on electronic voting by the National Assembly dominated by the APC.
“For us in the PDP, today as I mentioned is a black Friday”, Secondus said to newsmen who were hurriedly assembled to participate in a news conference.
The Chairman who is himself embattled, following differences within the rank and file of his party, observed that moves on the floor of the National Assembly to reject what he termed the will of the Nigerian people amounts to a massive fraud on the part of the APC.
“This is the highest level of corruption”, Secondus also observed, urging President Muhammadu Buhari to see what transpired as an act of corruption.
Incidentally, the PDP believes that accepting the electronic transmission of election results might put a stop to rigging. and possibly provide an opportunity for it in 2023 to recapture power from the APC at the centre.
Secondus directed its feuding lawmakers who are vowing to disrupt proceedings on the floor of parliament to seek legal avenues in the fight to ensure that Clause 52 which deals with electronic voting is not blocked.
Meanwhile, angry lawmakers from the PDP walked out of plenary on Friday in protest against the handling of the debate on the amended version of the Electoral Act.
The Minority Leader of the House, Ndudi Elumelu alleged that Deputy Speaker Wase has demonstrated serious contempt for democratic processes.
He alleged that when voting on the provisions of the new electoral law resumed Friday, the Deputy Speaker rallied lawmakers to vote from Clause 54.
According to him, there was no time that clause 52 was carried. He said that the recourse to the House rules by the Deputy Speaker was a brazen attempt to hoodwink the opposition into accepting that vote had been taken.
Before PDP members took a walk, Wase insisted that a vote had been taken, saying that the position of the House has been re-enforced by the testimony of officers who addressed lawmakers from the NCC.
This further enraged the PDP members led by Ndudi Elumelu and consequently encouraged them to abandon proceedings in protest.
Elumelu who addressed journalists threatened that until their “voices are heard”, they would go ahead with the protest.
He pledged that PDP lawmakers were ready whenever the House resumes sitting to disrupt plenary sessions.
Asked by journalists why the admonition of the Speaker on Clause 52 was ignored, the Majority Leader, Ado Doguwa said that the Speaker’s position on issues and the disposition of the House on matters of public interest were two different things.
Many political observers, including members of civil society organizations, agree that the House of Representatives was more impressive in the way it went about the issue of electronic transmission of results.
They say the House had done well in inviting experts to offer opinion on the matter.
But Channels Television reported Friday night that the statistics offered before lawmakers appeared to contradict an earlier position provided by the NCC on the extent of coverage achieved by telecom services in the country.
As things are, the last may not have been heard on the debate surrounding Clause 52. There may still be further arguments in the weeks to come given the interest the matter is generating.
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