Ijaw national leader, Chief Edwin Clark, says the clause in the new Electoral Act, which requires political appointees to resign their positions before participating in party primaries, will stop “impunity”.
Section 84 (12) of the Electoral Act 2022 reads: “No political appointee at any level shall be a voting delegate or be voted for at the convention or congress of any political party for the purpose of the nomination of candidates for any election.”
President Muhammadu Buhari had, while signing the electoral act amendment bill into law on February 25, asked the national assembly to delete the clause on the basis that it will “disenfranchise” political appointees.
The Senate has also received a letter from the president on the request to delete the clause.
However, Clark, in a statement issued on Tuesday, said the provision is in order with ensuring “sanity” in Nigeria’s electoral system.
“Nobody will be disenfranchised; all the Act is saying is that we want to stop impunity and waywardness”, he said.
He described the section as “legal and valid”, adding that “there is no constitutional breach, and therefore, the call on Mr. President to NASS to review that the said Section 84 (12), is unnecessary, if we are serious that we want to sanitise our electoral system”.
According to him, “Political party conventions and congresses should be attended only by party’s card-carrying elected delegates from their various wards, who are not political office holders or appointees, by the party members.
“Mr. President has no powers to delve into this matter. INEC has the prerogative to deal with the situation”.
“Mr. President, if we are sincere in fighting corruption and other forms of vices plaguing our country, this is one big opportunity. Let us not blow it, because we want to serve the interest of a few persons who are in office today”, he stated.