Buhari’s Critic, Ortom Backs President’s Refusal To Sign Amended Electoral Bill

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One of the most vocal critics of President Muhammadu Buhari has commended his decision to withhold his assent to the Electoral Act Amendment Bill.

Governor Samul Ortom of Benue State, who has repeatedly disagreed with the President on issues bordering on security and politics, believes the President has taken the appropriate action this time.

“I want to use this opportunity again on behalf of people that are represented here in Benue State to commend Mr President for withholding assent on the process of primaries of various political parties,” he said at a briefing at the end of the meeting of the State Executive Council on Tuesday in Makurdi.

“I am appealing to the National Assembly to reconsider the clause that allows for only direct primaries, and all the reasons that Mr President advanced concerning the support for him withholding his assent are deeply appreciated.

“I assure you that as a veteran politician who had the privilege to witness direct primaries, witness indirect primaries, and witness consensus primaries, and someone who has the privilege to be a member of various political parties, it was almost unanimous that the issue of primaries should be the responsibility of various political parties.”

A combination of file photos of President Muhammadu Buhari and Governor Samuel Ortom.

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President Buhari had withheld his assent to the bill, citing the cost of conducting direct primary elections, security challenges, and possible manipulation of electoral processes by political actors as reasons.

The governor, therefore, called on members of the National Assembly to heed the call of Nigerians for electronic transmission of results from the polling unit.

He agreed with the President on the financial and security challenges that come with direct primaries which he insisted was not the way to go.

Governor Ortom advised the lawmakers to consider the reasons stated by President Buhari and work on the bill to address all the challenges in the electoral process.

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