President Muhammadu Buhari, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, national assembly members, governors, deputy governors and other statutory delegates in the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) will not vote in the forthcoming party primaries if President Buhari does not assent to a fresh amendment to the Electoral Act into law by Sunday.
Others cannot vote during the primaries include the National Working Committee members, state party chairmen and secretaries, local government chairmen, councillors and party chairmen in the 774 local government areas.
This development was stressed by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) that political parties were expected to submit their delegates’ lists not later than seven days to the primaries.
The APC presidential primary kicks on Sunday, May 29, with the presidential primaries and if Buhari does not sign the bill into law by May 22, the political office holders, including the President, will not be able to vote unless they have been voted as delegates.
The APC earlier had a total of 7584 delegates that have been accredited for the convention but only 2340 ad-hoc delegates will participate if Buhari does not sign the amended Electoral Act.
Chronicle NG reports that President Buhari is presenting in the United Arab Emirates where he is paying a condolence visit following the passing of President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed al-Nahyan.
The President is expected to return to Nigeria on Saturday, in time for him to sign the amended Electoral Act if he chooses to.
The President’s action will also affect other political parties that are conducting party primaries.
Chronicle NG reports that the main opposition party, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in compliance with the Electoral Act has submitted the names of its delegates.
In the submitted list, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) stated that only three elected ad-hoc delegates per ward and one elected national delegate per local government will vote at its forthcoming primaries and national convention.
The PDP presidential primary is billed to hold between May 28 and 29.
The party made the declaration in a statement issued in Abuja on Saturday by its National Organising Secretary, Mr Umar Bature.
Bature stated that the decision was taken in consonance with Section 84(8) of the Electoral Act 2022 as amended by the National Assembly.
The sub-section states that delegates to vote at indirect primaries and national convention of political parties to elect candidates for elections shall be those democratically elected for that purpose only.
Section 84 (8) of the Electoral Act, therefore, allows only statutory delegates to participate in political parties’ congresses and conventions.