Amid Nigeria’s Foggy Political Future, PDP Governors Turn to National Assembly for Rescue

democracy in Nigeria


Governors of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) are currently worried about the foggy political future of Nigeria under the watch of President Muhammadu Buhari. For them, only a nationalistic electoral reform will rescue the country from continuous downward drift.

To this end, the PDP Governors’ Forum is turning to the Legislative arm of the Nigerian government to rescue the country from disintegration. The Forum is therefore enjoining the National Assembly to as a matter of national interest, immediately set up its Conference Committee that to harmonise the different versions of the Electoral Act Amendment Bills passed by its two Chambers.

The Forum is also urging citizens to rise and demand no less from their representatives, stressing that it is only credible elections that will put power in the hands of the electorate.

PDP governors say their position is not a partisan issue neither is it a regional or religious matter, adding that the Conference Committee of the National Assembly should be given a clear mandate to harken to the wishes of Nigerians and be guided by the national interest, particularly on the issue of electronic transmission of election results.

They are insisting that a further delay in passing and assenting to the Electoral Act Amendment Bill will do grievous and irreparable damage to preparations for the conduct of the 2023 elections in Nigeria, saying that the National Assembly should act in a patriotic manner as representatives of the people of Nigeria.

Chairman of the Forum and Sokoto State Governor, Aminu Tambuwal, in a statement said they are urging senators and members of the House of Representatives to adopt the House’s version of the Electoral Act Amendment Bill on the issue of Electronic Transmission of Election results at their conference committee.

“It should be noted that Section 52(2) of the House version says: ‘Voting at an election and transmission of result under this Bill shall be in accordance with the procedure determined by the Commission.’ and Section 52 (2) of the Senate version provides:

“The Commission may consider electronic transmission of results provided that the national coverage is adjudged to be adequate and secure by the Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC) and approved by the National Assembly.

“The Senate version which subjects the decision of INEC to deploy electronic transmission to the decision of the Nigerian Communications Commission and National Assembly is manifestly a usurpation of the powers of INEC and offends relevant provisions of the Nigerian Constitution that guarantees INEC’s autonomy and independence”, PDP governors say.

According to them, the Forum recognises that INEC has demonstrated the capacity to transmit votes electronically, both in recent off season elections and with the introduction and deployment of the Biomodel Voters Accreditation System (BVAs), used in the recent bye-election in Delta State, saying it has become necessary to remind the Senate and House Conferees that both Chambers had already approved in S.63(5) of the Bill as follows:

“The Presiding officer shall transmit the results including total number of accredited voters and the results of the ballot in a manner as prescribed by the Commission. It is obvious that S.52 (2) of the Senate version is manifestly inconsistent with S.63 (5) contained in the same Bill. No doubt, S.63 (5) which both Chambers approved is consistent with S.52 (2) of the House version and should be upheld by the Conference Committee.

“The Conference has no choice but to adopt the House version as to do otherwise would lead to unnecessary complications and conflicts even within the Bill. Secondly, the PDP Governors requests the National Assembly Conference Committee to jettison the House of Representatives decision that has the effect of forcing all political parties to adopt ONLY ONE METHOD of conducting primaries.

“The House amended S.87 (1) of the Act, by deleting INDIRECT PRIMARIES and mandating only DIRECT PRIMARIES. The Forum is of the view that political parties should be allowed discretion to adopt either direct or indirect primaries in their Constitutions and in practice.

‘’The Senate version that retains the original provision in the Electoral Act should be adopted in the interest of the growth of our political parties and freedom of choice, the hallmark of a functional democracy. This intervention of the PDP Governors is predicted on the need to ensure a free, fair and credible election, that strengthens Nigeria’s democracy, constitutionalism and rule of law. Only a credible election will guarantee accountability and good governance which Nigeria so desperately needs today”, they said.


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