Sign Electoral Act Amendment Bill now, PDP govs tell Buhari

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By Joyce Babayeju

GOVERNORS under the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to immediately sign the Electoral Act Amendment Bill into law, saying the President’s reluctance to sign the bill into law was an indication of his unwillingness to give Nigeria a reformed electoral framework.

The position of the governors was contained in a communique issued at the end of their meeting at Bayelsa State Government House in Yenagoa, yesterday.

Those who attended the meeting are Governor Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia State, Governor Ahmadu Fintir of Adamawa State, Governor Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom State, Governor Bala Mohammed of Bauchi State, Governor Douye Diri of Bayelsa State, and Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State.

Others include Governor Ifeanyi Okowa, Delta State; Governor Godwin Obaseki, Edo State; Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, Enugu State; Governor Oluseyi Makinde, Oyo State and Governor Nyesom Wike, Rivers State.

The communique, which was read by the Governor of Abia State and Vice Chairman of the PDP Governors Forum, Okezie Ikpeazu, said: “The PDP Governors’ Forum held its regular meeting on Monday, February 14, 2022, at the Bayelsa State Government House, Yenagoa. The meeting reviewed once again the state of the nation, the readiness of the PDP to rescue the nation from APC misrule and issued the following communique:

“The PDP Governors urged Mr President to immediately sign the Electoral Act Amendment Bill into law. Waiting to run out the 30 days is yet another sign of unwillingness by Mr President to give Nigeria a reformed electoral framework. If there are still misgivings on any aspect of the bill, amendments may be introduced at a later stage.

“The governors congratulated PDP for winning 43 out of 62 councillorship positions in the Abuja Area Council election just concluded. In spite of improvements in the conduct of elections, the Gwagwalada and Abuja Area Council results show that manipulations are still possible. They urged INEC to tighten all observed loopholes and further improve the functioning of the BIVAS machine for future elections.

“The governors expressed their displeasure on the issue of contaminated fuel supplied to Nigerians and urged the government to bring perpetrators to account.

“The Governors frowned at the duplicity, inconsistency and insincerity of the APC-led Federal Government on the fuel subsidy regime, which has been badly and corruptly administered. The figures of consumption ascribed to Nigerians appear fictitious and bloated. They called for a proper investigation to be conducted on this matter.

“The Forum welcomed the court decision on Police Trust Fund deductions from the Federation Account, a suit at the instance of Rivers State and urged the Federal Government to stop similar unconstitutional deductions from the Federation Account.

“In the same vein, the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission should expedite action on the new Revenue Allocation formula in such a way as to increase allocation to States and Local Government.”

“The Forum once again deplored the way and manner the CBN is being run as an alternate government, indeed, a government within a Government. It is time to streamline its functions and processes to be constitutionally compliant.

“The Forum once again decried the opaque nature of NNPC operations. They called for accountability and reconciliation of NNPC remittances into the federation account.

“As the National Assembly winds down this current phase of the Constitution Review exercise, the Forum urged that they revisit the issue of devolution of more powers to the States and Local Governments.

“This opportunity to rejig the framework for policing and securing Nigeria should not be missed. To this end, the Forum would set up a Panel of Consultants to have a thorough look at the security architecture of Nigeria and make recommendations.

“The Governors also urged the National Assembly to transfer some items from the Exclusive Legislative List to Concurrent List.

“The PDP Governors congratulated His Excellency, Governor Douye Diri, on his second anniversary in office as he has made a positive difference for the people of Bayelsa State. They thanked him for being such a gracious and wonderful host.”

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