Malam Garba Shehu, the Senior Special Assistant, Media and Publicity to president Muhammadu Buhari, has stated that Presidency rejects allegations of opposition politicians, as well as some newspaper editorial opinions creating the impression that President Buhari is against the use of card readers in the upcoming elections

According to him, he said “hence his decision to decline assent, for the 3rd time, to the Electoral Act (Amendment) Bill 2018. We wish to state in clear & unambiguous terms that the issue of e-voting and use of card reader

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It is equally important that this issue was not raised either by the Executive or the Legislature in the recent reviews. Moreover, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) adoption of e-voting reforms is enshrined in the 2015 Amendment Act to the Electoral Reform Act.

The Card reader is therefore a settled matter. The President’s recent decision to decline assent to the Bill has no effect whatsoever on INEC Nigeria’s use of card readers.

Regrettably, purveyors of fake news have been quick to churn out sensational headlines such as that of a leading newspaper, which screamed: “Card Reader in Jeopardy, Buhari Rejects Electoral Act Amendment Bill Again.”

The card reader is not in danger of being discarded. It is a sine qua non for credible elections.

Accordingly, we would like to appeal, especially to the media to disregard baseless allegations against the President, even as he puts in his best efforts in working with the National Assembly to give the nation a good electoral law, and in time.

He has said times without number that he would strengthen and widen its application in the country and this, he is determined to do.

For a candidate who ran three times and “lost” in an electoral environment in which votes were allocated and losers asked to go to court if they felt unhappy, the President knows fully well the role that the card reader played in his emergence in 2015.

As for his alleged rejection of the card reader, nothing can be farther from the truth. The President is the country’s number one fan of the card reader.

The President is not in confrontation with the parliament on this issue. He has asked his officials to dialogue with the legislature for the corrections to be effected.
The President wanted engagement with the parliament for the corrections to be effected so that, at the end of the day, both arms of government will be happy with the fact that we have a good electoral law in place.

An issue has been raised by the President concerning some ill-prepared and flawed parts of the bill for which corrections needed to be made to allow for his signature.

Unfortunately, most of the critics of the President, including the editorial of a national daily this morning read out parts of the letters, as made available by the SSA to the President on National Assembly Matters, detailing the issues that were of concern to the government.

Regrettably, purveyors of ‘fake news’ have been quick to churn out sensational headlines such as that of a leading newspaper, which screamed: “Card Reader in Jeopardy, Buhari Rejects Electoral Act Amendment Bill Again.”

The President’s recent decision to decline assent to the Bill has no effect whatsoever on INEC’s use of card readers.

Moreover, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) adoption of e-voting reforms is enshrined in the 2015 Amendment Act to the Electoral Reform Act. Card reader is therefore a settled matter.

It is equally important that this issue was not raised either by the Executive or the Legislature in the recent reviews.

We wish to state in clear and unambiguous terms that the issue of e-voting and use of card readers was NEVER an issue for the President’s decision to decline assent to the Bill.

…the use of card readers in the upcoming elections, hence his decision to decline assent, for the third time, to the Electoral Act (Amendment) Bill 2018.

The Presidency rejects allegations of opposition politicians, as well as some newspaper editorial opinions creating the impression that President Muhammadu Buhari is against e-voting,…

Following the traction the TraderMoni component of the Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme has gathered in recent weeks, Nigerians ought to know what it entails to access these loans made available by the Federal Government…

The Punch was notified of the various falsehoods contained in the allegations but still went ahead to publish the weak accusations. They should be prepared to face Abba Kyari in court.

Once again, we wish to caution against the media’s haste to publish unverified accusations against government officials simply for the sensationalism value, without journalists doing the due diligence required of them by their profession.

In blunt terms, it is difficult to make a case of N29 million bribery against an official who spurned a monthly payment of N200 million to his office, money for which he didn’t need to account to anyone.

It was only since Abba Kyari occupied that position that things changed.

In addition to that, the amount allegedly given in bribe was also suspicious, as the office of the presidential aide had been known in the past to receive imprest of 200 million naira and above every month, with no one expected to give account.

Checking the appropriation for 2016 and 2017, that request is not even there. How could Abba Kyari have asked for money to award a contract that did not exist anywhere at all?

We equally note that the supply of 15 Hilux vehicles for the Presidency was an unlikely contract to have been awarded, as it did not exist anywhere in the 2016 and 2017 budgets.

With a slew of crucial elections ahead, some politicians and their media agents appear to be working together to build pressure on the Buhari administration by wielding non-existent scandals against it.

What is even more surprising is the decision by the newspaper to run the cooked up lies despite obvious loopholes in the story, such as the Bureau of Public Procurement’s denial that a major source for the story was a member of their staff.

We wish to state with full authority that the allegation is wrong and the Chief of Staff did not have any private meetings with the person making those allegations.

The Presidency takes strong offence to the improbable and outlandish publication by Punch Newspaper today (Saturday) in a dig at presidential aide Abba Kyari who was alleged to have collected a 29 million naira bribe for the awarding of a contract.

The post President’s recent decision to decline assent to the Bill has no effect whatsoever on INEC’s use of card readers-Garba Shehu appeared first on Happenings In Nigeria.

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