By Sunday Iduh
Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom has commended the National Assembly (NASS) for the passage of the Electoral Act and sending it to Mr President for assent, especially the inclusion of electronic transmission of results, which he says will further strengthen the system, deepen democracy and usher in more transparent and fair election.
He equally lauded President Muhammadu Buhari for withholding assent on the process for the conduct of party primaries and sending the electoral act back to the National Assembly for them to reconsider their stance on direct primaries.
The governor gave the commendation Tuesday at the Benue Peoples House, Makurdi shortly before the State Executive Council meeting.
According to him, “all the reasons adduced by the President are appreciated. In the various constitutions of political parties, issues of party primaries are left in the hands of political parties.”
“I commend the President for listening to us. I was one of the first person that advised Mr President to withhold his assent and appealed to the National Assembly to reconsider that clause. It is commendable,” he added.
Governor Ortom appealed to the National Assembly to accept those reasons advanced by Mr President, in order to deepen the country’s democracy, instead of tying political parties to one corner and not giving smaller political parties an opportunity to participate in the system.
“I also appeal to Mr President that in the same manner he listened to Nigerians and sought advice on the issue of the electoral act, let him listen to Nigerians on the issues of insecurity and our economy. Let him listen to their thoughts, views and feelings with the aim of coming out with a common positions that will be acceptable and can help the security architecture of our country.
“Without security, there can be no economic development. I know we have people in this country who are capable of proferring the solutions to our challenges but until that opportunity is created in the same manner Mr President created on the electoral act,” he stated.
The governor who disclosed that he will continue to commend Mr President, National Assembly and anyone who is doing things that will add value to the country, however, pointed out that he will not keep quiet when things are not moving in the right direction.
“I will continue to speak on injustice, ills, unfairness and lack of equity. The only thing that will make me to be silent is when we are able to get it right,” he said.