The recent amendment of the 2019 election timetable by the House of Representatives has been rejected by nine senators for allegedly aiming at President Muhammadu Buhari.
The senators, amongst who are Abdullahi Adamu (Nasarawa west), Binta Garba (Adamawa north), Omo Ovie-Agege (Delta central), said Senate’s “rush” to adopt the amendment calls for suspicion.
Speaking on Wednesday, Senator Ovie-Agege said it was unenforceable for 36 members of House to amend section 25 of the Electoral Act on behalf of 360 others.
“For some of you who are familiar with what transpired in the house of reps, only 36 members were on the floor when this so-called amendment to section 25 of the electoral act was introduced,” he said.
“The position we took is that 36 people cannot determine the destiny of 360 people in the house which is now being carried over to 109 in the senate. The least we are owed is for this so-called amendment to be deliberated upon and our rule is clear.
“I am against anyone who will pass a law targeted at anyone and it appears Mr President.”
On his part, Senator Adamu faulted the failure by the chairman and the deputy chairman of the INEC committee to sign the report.
“We do challenge anybody who has the signed copy should produce it there so as to check doubting Thomases. We believe the process was rushed,” he said.
“There is no need for the rush. Give everybody the opportunity. There is no reason for just two people to speak on the issue. It’s not the tradition of the senate.
“We are against what has happened. We are not the only ones. If you take note of the report that was circulated, the chairman and co-chair did not sign. We don’t know why they didn’t sign.
“Why do we want to make a law that addresses one particular issue targeted at a person. This is very partisan. You could see from the body language, from the utterances that it is a pre-determined thing by a political party that is threatened by the APC government. Whatever incumbency give to anyone we are denying that one. We are not part of this endorsement.”
Senator Ali Wakili, who also criticised Senate’s adoption of the amendment, said:
“Why did they wait until after the INEC has come out with timetable? If we look at the cost-benefit to the economy, four elections in one month will be too staggering. It is not well for the economy, politics, and security.
“We had inside this chamber considered conference reports and we dissolve into house, look at it clause by clause, raise observations and return it back to the house of reps, why must it be different in this case,” he said.