Former Chairman House Committee on Public Accounts, Rep. Kingsley Chinda has blamed President Muhammadu Buhari for the electoral violence recorded in Kogi and Bayelsa State during the governorship election held in both states.
Chinda on Thursday accused Buhari of failing to deepen democracy through supervising peaceful and credible polls in both states.
“You will recall that when the People’s Democratic Party took over power from the military government in 1999, it undertook far reaching electoral reforms and set out to reform the polity and the electoral process. After he was elected in the 2007 presidential elections, President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, admitted the flaws in the electoral system and set out to reform the process.
“President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan made good the promise, reformed the electoral process, introduced the electronic card reader, provided free room for the Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) and did not politicize the Nigerian Security agencies in pursuit of his political ambition. The result was the 2015 general election which were adjudged to be the most credible elections Nigeria ever organized, that was under the PDP.
“Unfortunately for Nigeria and Nigerians, the major beneficiary of the electoral reform, President Muhammadu Buhari used the greater part of his tenure to relentlessly work to undermine the credibility of the electoral process, reduce democratic space, destroy press freedom and as well destroy the little that is left of the integrity of the judiciary. You will recall, Ladies and Gentlemen of the press, that President Muhammadu Buhari, has jettisoned the innovation of the smart card reader, which weeded out fake voters. After the Supreme Court ruled that card readers are alien to the electoral law, the 8th National Assembly sought to correct that by empowering the INEC to use the card reader but for four times President Buhari vetoed the electoral Act on flimsy and inexcusable grounds. As a matter of fact even after the National Assembly conceded to all his suggestions, he still vetoed the bill”, he stated.
“Little did we know that he had plans on returning himself to power willy nilly. We have now found out that we were wrong to have assumed that the abuse of power and desecration of the electoral system and our values will end with the Presidential elections. Now there is no reason why we should not seriously consider the wild allegations that the APC is rehearsing strategies for tenure elongation.
“Those who thought that because he had won second term, President Buhari would make casual and perfunctory gesture for electoral reforms have been thoroughly disgraced and disappointed by the unprecedented violation of the right and dignity of the peoples of Kogi and Bayelsa States. The wanton destruction of properties of the people as well as the denial of the right of the people to choose for themselves reflects the degeneration. The reformed electoral system inherited by President Buhari has been completely eroded since he emerged as President”, he added.