The Chief Whip of the Nigerian House of Representatives, Alhassan Ado-Doguwa, has described a comment credited to him over ongoing electoral reforms as ‘misunderstood’.
In the report by Daily Trust, Mr. Doguwa allegedly said the amendment of the electoral act was a mischievous plan targeted at the All Progressives Congress (APC) and President Muhammadu Buhari.
The Electoral Act was last week amended by the House to allow the National Assembly elections come first, followed by that of governors and members of the Houses of Assembly, while the presidential election comes last.
However, Mr. Doguwa, who walked out of the plenary in protest of the amendment, told Daily Trust in a telephone interview that the house did not have power to set timetable for the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
He allegedly said the amendment would make elections costlier for government and also put INEC in a difficult operational situation and that it went against the constitution.
“I came to a point where I realized that the house was trying to stage a plot not only against my party, APC, but a plot that is possibly stage managed against the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, who is my leader and from my zone.”
However, in a statement he sent to the press, Mr. Doguwa said the report was a misrepresentation of what “he intended to say.”
“The report erroneously reported me to have said that the electoral act as amended was negatively targeted against President Mohammad Buhari.
“As a leader, and a high ranking member of the House, I have enormous respect for this great institution which I have served for about 25 years now, and therefore could not have acted or spoken in a manner that would derogate, tarnish or undermine its institutional image,” he said.
He said although he was not favourably disposed to some parts of the Amendments passed during the considerations of the report, “it will never let him undermine the House or decisions taken by it.”
He apologized to his colleagues whom he said might be offended by the publication.
“I therefore, wish to in the circumstance apologize to my respected colleagues who were offended by these media misrepresentations, one way or another.” (PREMIUM TIMES)