From Noah Ebije, Kaduna
Bishop of Anglican Communion, Kaduna Diocese, Timothy Yahaya, has said the refusal of President Muhammadu Buhari to sign the Electoral Act amendment bill as one of the indices that Nigeria has not started practising democracy.
He said if senators knew that National Assembly is the oxygen of democracy, they should override the president and pass the bill into law.
He said since senators could not override the president and veto the bill, they should be ready to wear the toga of rubber-stamp in the eyes of citizens.
The cleric stated this in his Christmas message where he lamented the increasing insecurity in the country and urged that all measures be put in place to ensure peace reign.
“To be candid with you, Mr. President’s refusal to sign the Electoral Act amendment Bill means Nigeria has not started democracy; what we are practising for now is “Them owncracy.”
“Indices of what is democracy elsewhere in the world is not in Nigeria. Election should be the backbone of democracy. But the people out there who claim they are representing us are they actually representing us? You journalists go and do investigate journalism, you will discover that some people hijacked the process of party primary, down to even the elections.
“It is only in Nigeria that people easily die in election. Ballot box stuffing and snatching do happen. It is only in Nigeria that terrorists will be busy killing people in their thousands. We don’t have 36,000 police to go and quell the problem of human degradation but when there was an election in Anambra State, Ogun State and elsewhere, how many vehicles were on ground? That tells you “Them own cracy.” They are not ready to let go, Nigeria has become a cow they are milking every day. It is not about the people, it is about what they will get out of the system. It is about corruption, it is about looting, it is about inhumanity to man by the class of people that rule us today.”
The cleric said the elements of democracy should be for the people to decide who rules them.
“It must be the voice of the people; democracy is the voice of the majority. How can you explain the flimsy reasons given for not signing the Electoral Act? I think there will be a rethink and the right thing will be done so that for the first time, Nigeria will say there will be free and fair elections. This government cannot deliver anything to Nigerians. How can they not for once give Nigerians an electoral process that is acceptable.
“I am talking to the National Assembly members…I am not talking to Mr. President because he had already told us his mind; that he is not going to sign the electoral bill. The National Assembly should put signatures together to override Mr. President. There is a way we have hijacked the political process in Nigeria. And if the National Assembly wants the people to clap for them, and the name rubber stamp removed from them, it is time to show it. Nigerians are clamouring and crying that the electoral bill be signed into law. If the National Assembly knows they are the oxygen of democracy, they should do the right thing; override Mr. President and pass it into law.”