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2023: PDP Govs Forum wants NASS to allow e-transmission of elections’ results

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From Ahmad SAKA, Bauchi

The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) Governors’ Forum on Monday called on the National Assembly to entrench electronic transmission of elections’ results in the Nigerian electoral jurisprudence.

The governors made the called in a communiqué issued at the end of the 11th meeting held in Bauchi on Monday which was read by the Chairman of PDP Governors Forum Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal they stressed the need for a free, fair and credible elections in the country.

The meeting requested Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), which the governors described as “the only body empowered by the Constitution to conduct elections”, to deploy appropriate technologies necessary to ensure that the votes of every Nigerian is counted and made to count.

“The meeting advised the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), especially, the Universal Service Provision Fund (USPF), Nigerian Communications Satellite Ltd (NIGCOMSAT), Telephone Companies (Telcos) and all relevant stakeholders to ensure that universal access and service of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) are provided especially in rural, un-served and under-served areas of the country before the 2023 general elections,” the communiqué added.

The ‘ Forum condemned the attempt to foist one method of conducting primaries, that is direct method only, on all political parties through the Electoral Act Amendment Bill, submitting that, “the method is prone to massive rigging, as evidenced by a situation where President Buhari scored about 15 million votes in the 2018 APC direct primaries only to score 15 million votes from the entire country in the 2019 general election.”

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The governors, advised that political parties, should be allowed to decide whether to use direct or indirect method of conducting primaries as part of internal democracy in political parties.

To a communiqué, the meeting condemned, once again, “the use of underhand tactics to arm twist some PDP governors and other stakeholders to join the APC, a political party that has wrecked Nigeria’s economy, turned Nigeria into a killing field and has nothing to offer Nigerians but misery and bad governance.

“The governors condemned Mr President and APC for turning the Presidential Villa, that belongs to all Nigerians, into the new APC headquarters, where coerced PDP members are being paraded at intervals.”

The governors reiterated, once again, the need for the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and other revenue generating agencies of government to strictly abide by the Constitution by remitting all their revenue less cost of production into the Federation Account as provided for by Section 162 of the Constitution.

On the economy, the meeting admonished the APC-led Federal Government to collaborate more with state governments to stem the unemployment scourge affecting the youth of Nigeria, through technology and increased production in all fields of endeavour.

“Government should stop paying lip service on the Ease of Doing Business, as foreign direct investments have continued to fall partly due to obstacles placed on foreign companies wishing to invest in Nigeria. A glaring example is that of Facebook who insisted on investing in Nigeria rather than Ghana and is being frustrated by regulatory authorities,” the communiqué reads in part.

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The PDP governors decided that in addition to their earlier recommendations on security of lives and properties, it is time to bring the activities of bandits, kidnappers and terrorists to an end, through increased use of military equipment, traditional means of conflict resolution and technology for surveillance and the development of the political will to flush them out.

The governors admonished that, “kidnapping, banditry and terrorism are not business ventures as claimed by APC but heinous state crimes that is destroying the Nigerian economy, the educational and social future of our children and causing significant social upheavals in society.”

They then enjoined all Nigerians of goodwill to take advantage of the ongoing registration of voters by INEC to register to vote, thereby arming themselves with the necessary tools in the struggle to rescue Nigeria from the APC maladministration.

The Forum advises te the public, especially youths and Women to use the opportunity of the PDP e-registration exercise which will kick off soon, to register as PDP members, while PDP members should update their membership electronically,”

The meeting was attended by the Forum Chairman, Right Honourable Aminu Waziri Tambuwal (Sokoto); Okezie Ikpeazu (Abia); Udom Emmanuel (Akwa Ibom); Senator Douye Diri (Bayelsa); Samuel Ortom (Benue) and Dr Ifeanyi Okowa (Delta).

Others at the meeting were Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi (Enugu); Nyesom Wike (Rivers); Engineer Oluseyi Makinde (Oyo); Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri (Adamawa); Godwin Obaseki (Edo); Senator Bala Abdulkadir Mohammed (Bauchi); Darius Ishaku (Taraba) and Zamfara State deputy governor, Mahdi Mohammed.

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