Alhassan Ado Doguwa, the Chief Whip of the House of Representatives, has claimed that the House’s amendment of the Electoral Act was a mischievous plan against the All Progressives Congress, APC, and President Muhammadu Buhari.
Doguwa said the amendment carried out by more than 30 members of the house was a breach of constitution, adding that the house does not have the power to change the election timetable.
Doguwa alleged that some members have mischievous plans against the party and the president.
Speaking on the floor of the House, the lawmaker stated that the House did not have power to set timetable for the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), stressing that amendment would make elections costlier for government.
According to Doguwa, the amendment puts INEC in a difficult operational situation, adding that it’EDIs against the constitution.
He said, “I came to a point where I realised that the house was trying to stage a plot not only against my party, APC, but a plot that is possibly stage managed against the president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, who is my leader and from my zone.
“By the fact that the report contained some clauses changing the timetable, in the first place, it’s not our duty and responsibility. It’s a breach of the constitution.
“I raised my hands three to four times to the chairman of the committee of the whole, who’s the deputy speaker, and he insisted not to allow me to speak. It was on that basis that I walked out. Four other members joined me.
“I do not see any rationale behind splitting the national elections into three components. It has never happened, and it shouldn’t happen this time around considering the economic situation the country is facing. It is also intended to make the process a difficult one for government and INEC.
“The fact remains that by the provisions of the constitution, it is only INEC that has the mandate to set out timetable and timeline for elections. Of course we have the right to set the legal framework in the Electoral Act. But we can’t set the timing and timetable. To the best of my understanding, we don’t have the powers. It’s like we’re crossing some red lines.
“It is simply because some members have mischievous plans against the party, APC, and some of them have issues against Mr President. I don’t think this is a plan that can even work out. It’s selfish, mischievous. I want to plead with the president not to assent to it.
“The consideration was done at a time when members virtually were not aware. When you’re taking this kind of thing, all members should be aware. There should be special information to members. What happened on that day wasn’t the true reflection of the generality of the members of the house. If the bill is returned, it won’t see the light of day.”