Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governors have opposed attempts to foist on all political parties one method of conducting primary elections which was by direct method through the Electoral Act Amendment Bill.
The Nigerian governors also called the National Assembly to entrench electronic transmission of results of elections into the nation’s electoral law.
The calls were contained in a 10-point communique and issued at the end of the PDP Governors’ Forum held at Bauchi, Bauchi State capital on Monday.
The meeting was attended by Governors Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State, Okezie Ikpeazu (Abia), Udom Emmanuel (Akwa Ibom), Douye Diri (Bayelsa), Samuel Ortom (Benue) and Ifeanyi Okowa (Delta).
Others were Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi (Enugu), Nyesom Wike (Rivers), Abiodun Makinde (Oyo), Umaru Fintiri (Adamawa), Godwin Obaseki (Edo), Bala Mohammed (Bauchi), Darius Ishaku (Taraba), and the deputy governor of Zamfara State, Mahdi Mohammed.
Mr Tambuwal, who is the Chairman of the Forum reading the communique said “The Governors noted that the method was prone to massive rigging and such other electoral malpractices as evidenced in the 2018 APC primary elections.
‘’Political parties should be allowed to decide their method of conduct of primaries as such would promote internal democracy.”
The governors further asked the lawmakers to approve electronic transmission of results in order to ensure free, fair and credible elections in the country.
The National Assembly had recently rejected an amendment to the Electoral Act which sought the electronic transmission of results of future elections by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
“On the Electoral Act Amendment Bill, the Governors identified the need for 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,” the governors said.
The governors urged INEC to deploy appropriate necessary technologies to ensure that votes of the electorates count in future elections.
They also called on the Nigeria Communication commission (NCC), the Universal Service Provision Fund (USPF), Nigerian Communications Satellite Ltd (NIGCOMSAT), Telephone Companies (Telcos) and other relevant stakeholders, to ensure access of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) services were provided in rural areas before the 2023 general elections.
The governors also appealed to the federal government to collaborate with the state governments to stem the raging unemployment affecting the youth through technology and increased production in all fields of human endeavour.
“Government should stop paying lip service to 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 classical example is that of the FACEBOOK which indicated interest to invest in Nigeria but is being frustrated by regulatory agencies,” the governors said.
They further called on the federal 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 of surveillance.
The PDP Governors’ Forum enjoined all Nigerians to take advantage of the ongoing Voter’s Registration exercise by INEC to prepare themselves with the necessary tools in the struggle to ensure a free and fair electoral process.
“Furthermore, the general public, especially our youths and women are implored 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 communique said.