Governors of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) have indicted the national oil corporation, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) for allegedly acting in breach of the country’s Constitution.
NNPC is however, not alone. The PDP governors also frowned seriously at other revenue generating agencies, and the electoral agency – Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for some of the measures it has adopted ahead of the 2023 polls.
Acting on the platform of PDP Governors’ Forum, the governors reiterated the need for NNPC and other revenue generating agencies of the central government to strictly abide by the Constitution by remitting all their revenue less cost of production into the Federation Account as provided for by Section162 of the Constitution.
They are condemning the alleged attempt by INEC to foist on all political parties, one method of conducting primaries, by direct method only through the Electoral Act Amendment Bill.
The Forum is therefore, requesting the electoral agency, to deploy appropriate technologies necessary to ensure that the votes of every Nigerian is counted and made to count.
It is also tasking the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), especially, the Universal Service Provision Fund (USPF), Nigerian Communications Satellite Ltd, and telephone companies to ensure that universal access and service of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) are provided, in rural, un-served and under-served areas of the country before the 2023 general elections.
These are some of the outcome of their meeting in Bauchi, the capital of Bauchi State earlier this week. In a ten point communique read out to journalists at the end of the meeting, Chairman of the Forum Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal of Sokoto State said they 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.
At the meeting were Nyesom Wike (Rivers), Okezie Ikpeazu (Abia), Udom Emmanuel (Akwa-Ibom), Douye Diri ( Bayelsa), Samuel Ortom (Benue), Ifeanyi Okowa (Delta), Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi (Enugu), Seyi Makinde (Oyo), Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri (Adamawa), Godwin Obaseki (Edo), Bala Mohammed (Bauchi), Darius Ishaku (Taraba) and Zamfara State Deputy Governor Mahdi Mohd.
They said the direct method is prone to massive rigging, as evidenced by a situation where President Muhammad Buhari scored about 15 million votes in the 2018 All Progressives Congress (APC) direct primaries, only to score 15 million votes from the entire country in the 2019 general election.
While the PDP governors are stressing that political parties should be allowed to decide whether to use direct or indirect method of conducting primaries as part of internal democracy in political parties, they strongly condemned the use of underhand tactics to arm twist some of their colleagues and other stakeholders to join APC, a political party that has allegedly wrecked Nigeria’s economy, turned Nigeria into a killing field and has nothing to offer Nigerians, but misery and bad governance.
The Forum lampooned President Buhari and APC for allegedly turning the Presidential Villa that belongs to all Nigerians into the new APC headquarters, where coerced PDP members are being paraded at intervals.
On the economy, they admonished the Buhari administration to collaborate more with state governments to stem the unemployment scourge affecting the youths of Nigeria, through technology and increased production in all fields of endeavour.
They also advised the administration to 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 glaring example is that of Facebook that insisted on investing in Nigeria rather than Ghana, and is being frustrated by regulatory authorities”, maintaining that it was time 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 for surveillance and the development of the political will to flush them out.
“Kidnapping, banditry and terrorism are not business ventures as claimed by APC, but heinous State crimes, that is destroying the Nigerian economy, the educational and social future of our children and causing significant social upheavals in society.”
The PDP governors then enjoined all Nigerians of goodwill to take advantage of the ongoing registration of voters by INEC to register to vote, thereby arming themselves with the necessary tools in the struggle to rescue Nigeria from the APC maladministration.
“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 Forum commended Governor Bala Mohamed, their host, for providing a nice atmosphere for the meeting and for the huge difference he has made in provision of infrastructure and general welfare of citizens of the state.