The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to sign the electoral act amendment bill into law.
The national assembly on November 19 transmitted the electoral bill to Buhari for assent.
This is coming days after the senate and house of representatives approved the conference committee report on the bill.
In the conference committee report, both chambers of the national assembly empowered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to determine the best mode to transmit election results and also approved that all political parties must use the direct primary mode in picking candidates.
However, the decision to adopt direct primaries for political parties has elicited varied reactions, with stakeholders including the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and some All Progressives Congress (APC) governors kicking against it.
In a letter dated November 23, 2021 and titled: ‘Please Assent the Electoral Bill’, Ayuba Wabba, NLC president asked Buhari to “demonstrate courage, leadership as well as protect our democracy” by signing the electoral bill into law.
NLC said the opposition of direct primary by political parties “represents a classic case of greed for political power”.
“We are not unaware of the tremendous pressure being brought to bear on you by state governors across party lines and other selfish interest groups and individuals to do otherwise,” the letter reads.
“This pressure, we are afraid to say, represents a classic case of greed for political power, inordinate ambition, a ruthless quest for command and control in a democracy, mindless expansionist tendencies and further proof of the iron cast will of a few persons among us to erode time-tested democratic values and to subvert our democratic institutions.
“At the moment, it is trite knowledge that governors, against all decent norms, control the state legislatures, judiciary, SIEC (State Independent Electoral Commission) and local governments in spite of your heroic effort to free them.
“Given their stranglehold on SIEC and their intolerance for the opposition, bestowing upon them the power to determine who goes to the national assembly will amount to taking undue chances with our democracy. We recall instances in the past when you stood up to be counted. Nothing should change that now, not even the possible threat of blackmail.
“At the risk of stating the obvious, we do earnestly believe that the process of direct primaries will free up and deepen the democratic space, unmask and strip dictators of their powers, inspire confidence in honest and patriotic Nigerians to run for elections and not only the favoured godsons and goddaughters.”
Confusion as security operatives exchange blows during Buhari’s Kaduna visit
There was confusion when security agents exchanged blows while President Muhammadu Buhari was commissioning Kawo bridge in the heart of Kaduna state, city, on Thursday.
President Buhari arrived in Kaduna State to commission projects executed by the State Governor, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai.
The projects are in Kafanchan, Kaduna and Zaria.
Shortly after his return from Kafacnchan, the President commissioned the Kawo bridge.
However, an altercation among security operatives attached to the President and those based in Kaduna resulted in exchange of blows.
Trouble started when some operatives of the Department of State Services blocked the road to Kawo bridge soon after the President who mounted the bridge.
Governor El-Rufai, who had earlier alighted from his vehicle, rode in the President’s convoy to the bridge.
The security agents, who barred journalists and other dignitaries from accessing Kawo bridge, blocked the road after El-Rufai and the President were on the bridge.
However, El-Rufai’s Aide-De-Camp insisted that the governor’s official vehicle must be allowed access.
Daily Trust reports that the President’s security aides stood their ground and this resulted in not just an altercation but exchange of blows.
Eventually, the governor’s vehicle was given access.
Two die, five injured as truck crushes motorcycle in Cross River
The Federal Road Safety Corps has confirmed the death of two persons in an accident in the early hours of Thursday in Nko community, Yakurr Local Government Area of Cross River State.
The Public Education Officer of the Corps in Cross River State, Mark Ajuka, confirmed the death of the victims in an interview.
Ajuka, a Superintendent Route Commander, told the News Agency of Nigeria that five persons were also injured in the crash that involved a truck and a motorcycle.
He said that investigation revealed that the crash was caused by a brake failure from the truck driver.
He said: “The accident occurred early this morning in Nko community, Yakurr Local Government Area of Cross River.
“The deceased have been evacuated from the scene of the crash, while those injured were taken to the General Hospital in Ugep for treatment.”
An eyewitness, James Eteng, told the NAN that the tragic incident occurred at St. Pius Primary School in Nko community.
“Today is a black Thursday for us in Nko community.
“We have lost a son and a daughter in an accident that occurred this morning.
“As we speak, the whole community is in mourning mood, we can only console with the family to bear the irreparable loss.”