The Director General of Voice of Nigeria (VON), Mr Osita Okechukwu, has appealed to President Mohammadu Buhari to ignore the controversy introduced to the Electoral Act Amendment Bill via the Direct Primary mode of electing party candidates pushed by APC lawmakers and assent to the bill.
Osita Okechukwu, a foundation member of the All Progressives Congress (APC), argued that discarding the bill on account of controversial clause would amount to “throwing away the baby and the bath water”.
He said the Electoral Act Amendment Bill which provides legal basis for the electronic transmission of Election Results is the antidote to Election rigging.
“My candid appeal is that Mr President should endorse the Electronic Transmission contained therein; which is the mother of Bimodal Voters Accreditation System (BIVAS).
“BIVAS is Vaccine to Vote Rigging; the most patriotic item in the Bill, an offspring of electronic transmission which ultimately fulfills the legacy pledge of Mr President to bequeath credible, free and fair elections to Nigerians.
He pleaded the president should not allow the controversy truncate the bill and deny Nigerians the full benefit of the technology now being introduced by INEC in the electoral process.
“I’m sincerely afraid that the controversy, hyperbole and cacophony of voices over direct primary may wittingly or unwittingly scuttle the entire Electoral Bill, thus throwaway the baby – BIVAS and the bath water – Direct Primary. Mr President please avoid this boobytrap against electronic transmission.” – Okechukwu submitted
He maintained that whether or not political parties accept it, the concluded Anambra State Governorship Election has set the template and that any party that foist unpopular candidate on the people would be doing so at its peril.
Said he “the two leading dominant political parties APC & PDP are for the first time in the last eight years opposed to one issue – direct primary. And that with electronic transmission – BIVAS Vaccine – henceforth Presidents, Governors, Legislators, appointed officers and political parties are by this legislation willingly compelled to confer loyalty to the electorate not godfathers
“They are supported by incontrovertible facts that free and fair election bequeathed by BIVAS as in Anambra State gubernatorial election highlighted above will force political parties to self censorship”.
Uche Nwosu is a two time Shell Petroleum PLC award winner in the year 2000;
He won the Shell Award on Investigative Journalism and Environmental Cleanliness.