PDP Govs Want National Assembly to Quickly Rework Electoral Bill and Return for Assent

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•Tell Nigerians to massively register with INEC

•Lament rising insecurity

Chuks Okocha in Abuja and Blessing Ibunge in Port Harcourt

Governors elected on the platform of the main Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), yesterday, urged the National Assembly to rework the electoral bill, which had been vetoed by President Muhammadu Buhari, and return it to the president for his assent. The PDP governors lamented the growing insecurity in Nigeria, and called on all citizens of voting age, who were yet to register in the on-going continuous voter registration by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), to quickly do so.

A communiqué signed by 10 PDP governors and read by the chairman of the party’s governors’ forum, Aminu Tambuwal, after their meeting in Port Harcourt, said, “The PDP governors requested the National Assembly to quickly conclude deliberations on the Electoral Act Amendment Bill either by overriding Mr President’s veto by deleting areas of complaints.

“The meeting advised that the option of sustaining Mr. President’s veto would lead to a quicker resolution and would deny Mr President the opportunity to once again truncate a reformed electoral jurisprudence for Nigeria. An early-concluded Electoral Act is vital for credible elections.

“The meeting lamented the continued state of insecurity in the country, the persistent and ceaseless flow of Nigerians’ blood on a daily basis in many parts of Nigeria, the near collapse of the security situation in Nigeria. The strategies to confront terrorists, kidnappers, bandits and other criminals is still a major problem of the APC administration.

“The meeting expressed regrets that Mr President is unwilling, from his recent comments discountenancing the proposals for state policing, to participate in reviewing the structural problems of tackling insecurity in Nigeria and urges Mr President to reconsider his position and consider decentralisation and restructuring of the security architecture as the most viable solution, together with proper arming, funding and training requirements for security agencies.”

According to the PDP governors, the Nigerian economy has continued to deteriorate and Nigerians have become numb and accustomed to bad economic news, as exemplified by the inconsistent and differential exchange rate regimes, high interest rates, unsustainable unemployment figures, and borrowing spree for funds that have not been applied to important projects, among other bad economic indicators.

The governors declared the APC government a massive failure, when compared with the record of PDP, which governed the country until 2015.

They stated, “PDP handed over a $550 billion economy (the largest in Africa), but under APC, Nigeria is the poverty capital of the world. In 2015, under PDP, the exchange rate was N198 per dollar, it is now under APC almost N500 to a dollar; in 2015, unemployment rate was 7.3% under PDP, it is now 33%, one of the highest in the world under APC; in 2015, the pump price of petrol was N87 per litre, it is now N165 per litre and climbing under APC. Debt servicing now under APC takes over 98% of the federal budget. The tales of woe is endless.”

The PDP governors noted that the management of the oil and gas resources and administration of the Federation Account remittances had remained opaque, confusing and non-transparent. In addition, they said the transition to NNPC Limited under the Petroleum Industry Act was not properly streamlined to ensure that the interests of all the tiers of government were protected.

The meeting urged eligible Nigerians, particularly, the youth, to register en masse with INEC to exercise their franchise in the 2023 general election. It noted that the next election was a very important election that should be used to end the dominance of the youth unfriendly APC government. The governors urged the youth to empower themselves to determine, who leads them, but not the APC government that had the arrogance to deny Nigerian youth of the use of Twitter, a business friendly tool for the young, for over a year.

The PDP governors congratulated the party for conducting a smooth and credible national convention that led to the emergence of a new executive chaired by Dr. Iyorchia Ayu. They commended the new executive for hitting the ground running with respect to repositioning the PDP into a credible vehicle for rescuing and rebuilding Nigeria.

The meeting was attended by Tambuwal, Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom State, Senator Douye Diri of Bayelsa State, Samuel Ortom of Benue State, Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State,Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State, Nyesom Wike of Rivers State, Oluseyi Makinde of Oyo State, Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri of Adamawa State, and Bala Mohammed of Bauchi State.