From Ndubuisi Orji, Abuja
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Governors’ Forum has urged the National Assembly to entrench electronic transmission of election results into the nation’s electoral law.
The call was contained in a 10-point communique issued at the end of the Governors’ Forum meeting, yesterday, in Bauchi State.
The communique was read by Chairman of the forum and Sokoto Governor, Aminu Tambuwal.
“On the Electoral Act Amendment Bill, 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.”
The governors urged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to deploy appropriate necessary technologies to ensure that votes of electorates count in future elections.
They also called on the Nigeria Communication commission (NCC), 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 forum condemned attempt to foist on all political parties one method of conducting primary elections which was by direct method through the Electoral Act Amendment Bill.
“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 also appealed to the Federal Government to collaborate with the state governments to stem the raging unemployment affecting the youths through technology and increased production in all field of human endeavour.
“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 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 called on Federal Government to bring the activities of bandits, kidnappers and terrorists to an end through increased use of military equipments, traditional means of conflict resolution and technology of surveillance.
The Governors’ Forum enjoined all Nigerians to take advantage of the ongoing Voter Registration exercise by INEC, to prepare themselves with the necessary tools in the struggle to ensure 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 meeting was attended by Governors Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia; Udom Emmanuel, Akwa Ibom; Douye Diri, Bayelsa; Samuel Ortom, Benue and Ifaenyi Okowa of Delta. Others are Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu; Nyesom Wike, Rivers; Seyi Makinde, Oyo; Umaru Fintiri, Adamawa; Godwin Obaseki, Edo; Bala Mohammed, Bauchi; Darius Ishaku,Taraba and deputy governor of Zamfara State, Mahdi Mohammed.