Governors elected on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Monday accused President Muhammadu Buhari of turning the presidential villa, which belongs to all Nigerians, to the headquarters of his party the All Progressive Congress (APC) where he now parades governors coerced to join the ruling party.
The accusation was contained in a communique issued at the end of the meeting of the PDP Governors Forum, which held in Bauchi.
The governors insisted on the electronic transmission of election results against the background of the National Assembly consideration of the initiative.
They condemned the attempt to compel all political parties to adopt the direct primaries, which they said given the kind of results returned by President Buhari during the APC primaries, the method can be grossly rigged.
The communique said: “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.”
On the Electoral Act Amendment Bill, the communique said the governors identified with the need for a free, fair and credible elections in the country and called on the National Assembly to entrench electronic transmission of results of elections in the nation’s electoral jurisprudence.
It added: “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 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 PDP governors reiterated 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.
On the economy, the governors admonished the APC-led federal government to collaborate more with state governments to stem the unemployment scourge affecting the youths of Nigeria, through technology and increased production in all fields of endeavour, reiterating that 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 communique said.
The governors also harped on the need to bring the security crisis in the country to an end.
The communique stated: “On security of lives and properties, in addition to our earlier recommendations, 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.
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, the PDP Governors admonished.”
The PDP governors 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.”
They also called on the general public, especially the youths and women to use the opportunity of the PDP E-registration exercise, which will kick off soon, to register as PDP members, while they enjoined PDP members to update their membership electronically.
The governors informed that they deliberated on the state of the nation, reviewed “the deteriorating state of our democracy, the economic and security situation in the country, the state of the PDP as the main opposition platform in Nigeria.”
State chief executives who attended the meeting were Aminu Tambuwal (Sokoto) Chairman; Okezie Ikpeaz (Abia) Vice Chairman; Udom Emmanuel (Akwa Ibom) Douye Diri (Bayelsa), Samuel Ortom (Benue), Ifeanyi Okowa (Delta), Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi (Enugu), Nyesom Wike (Rivers), Oluseyi Makinde (Oyo), Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri (Adamawa), Godwin Obaseki (Edo), Bala Mohammed (Bauchi), Darius Ishaku (Taraba) and Deputy Gov. Mahdi Mohammed (Zamfara).