PDP and APC lawmakers battle for and against overriding PMB’s Electoral Act veto

President Muhammadu Buhari’s veto of the Electoral Act (Amendment) bill has drawn a battle line among lawmakers of the All Progressive Congress (APC) and the People Democratic Party (PDP).

Lawmakers of the PDP had vowed to override President Buhari’s veto of the amended Electoral Act, but some of them are developing cold feet as they lack the necessary numbers to form a quorum required by law to override the veto.

Amidst the looming threat of the PDP’s lawmakers to override the President’s veto, Femi Gbajabiamila who is the APC caucus leader has expressed the confidence that the PDP lacks the capacity to do so as the APC have more than two-third major to stop the veto.

Femi Gbajabiamila stressed that President Buhari refusal to sign the amended Electoral Act was as a result of some imperfections and its inherent potentials to disenfranchisement so many eligible voters in the upcoming general elections.

Some of the inherent potentials which can disenfranchise eligible voters include the bill insisting on the exclusive use of the card readers for voters’ accreditation and the forfeiture of all other manual means of accreditation in an event of electronic card readers’ failures. In his submission, if this Electoral Act is signed into law millions of Nigerians will be disenfranchised citing different scenarios witnessed in the last general elections where the card readers could be used to accredit several eligible voters including the former President, Goodluck Jonathan who was also a presidential candidate seeking re-election for the presidential seat.

Considering the standing of the various political parties in the house, overriding President Buhari’s veto is very unlikely, so all that is required is for the National Assembly to perfect the document and send it back to the president for signing.

Overriding President Buhari’s veto requires 240 out of the 360 members which means that the PDP while need the help of other political parties lawmakers, including the APC to achieve their goal.

However, the PDP lawmakers are hoping to get support from some of the aggrieved lawmakers who were not allowed to run in the just concluded APC primary elections and those who contested and failed. They are also looking at luring even those who won the primaries but are having their victory contested in court. So it is obvious that the PDP lawmakers will be working very hard to take advantage of the internal crises rocking the APC.

How this battle is going to turn out at the end of the day depends on the ability of the PDP to lobby aggrieved APC lawmakers and the ability of the APC to hold tight their own.

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