From NDUKAIHE UGWU, Abuja
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Governors Forum has again excoriated the National Assembly for the majority vote against electronic transmission of election results, urging NASS to reconsider its stand and include electronic transmission of results in the proposed Electoral Law.
The Forum also kicked against the idea of enshrining direct primary for nomination of political party candidates in the proposed electoral law, insisting that direct primary is prone to massive rigging and as such, political parties should be allowed to decide whether to use direct or indirect primary in the nomination of their candidates for elections.
In a communique issued yesterday at the end of their meeting in Bauchi, and read by the chairman, Governor Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State, the PDP Governors’ Forum also noted that time had come for the government “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 meeting requested Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), 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 governors added in the communique read by Tambuwal.
“The meeting further called on 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 meeting condemned the attempt to foist on all political parties, one method of conducting primaries, that is, by direct method only, through the Electoral Act Amendment Bill.
“The Governors noted 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.
“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.”
“The governors reiterated, once again, the need for the 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 S.162 of the Constitution.
“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 communique surmised.