PDP senators, Reps back southern govs, call electoral act amendment subversion

Sunday Aborisade

8 July 2021

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 MEMBERS of the Peoples Democratic Party National Assembly caucus have thrown their weight behind the resolution of the southern governors on burning national issues.

The governors met in Lagos on Monday and demanded the inclusion of the electronic transfer of results in the 2010 Electoral Act amendment Bill 2021 and the inclusion of the state police in the ongoing 1999 constitution review.

The governors also rejected the three per cent oil equity share for the host communities, among others.

Addressing journalists in Abuja, caucus leaders Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe and Hon.Ndudi Elumelu, on behalf of their colleagues commended the governors for their courage.

The opposition lawmakers also pledged to remain actively committed in their legislative activities to ensure that all the demands of the governors were met in the various legislation pending before the National Assembly.

While reading from a prepared text in the joint press conference between PDP members in the Senate and House of Representatives, Abaribe said, “After due consideration and extensive deliberations on political and security situation in the country, the Joint PDP National Assembly unanimously upholds the resolution of the Southern Governors’ Forum in vehemently rejecting the clandestine moves to manipulate and alter the Electoral Act to remove the electronic transmission of results from the law.

“Such furtive venture to tamper with a critical component of transparency and credibility of the electoral process is an unpatriotic and mischievous attempt to subvert our democratic process, institutionalize rigging, bastardize and frustrate genuine efforts towards credible elections in our country.

“Electronic transmission of results is the only way to eliminate malpractice and manipulations associated with manual collation of results, including alteration, switching and disappearance of election materials while on transit to various collation centres.”

He noted that the joint caucus was already taking “very strong and uncompromising steps” to ensure that the electronic transmission component was not tinkered with.

On the issue of security, he said, “the Joint PDP Caucus reaffirms our unwavering support for the establishment of state police as well as other measures adopted by the governors to ensure the security of lives and property in their respective states, including those curtailing unauthorised movements and occupation of forest areas.

“We also affirm the demands by state governors, that as Chief Security Officers in the states, they must be duly informed before any security institution undertakes any operation in their states.

“The Joint PDP Caucus also lends full support to the demand by our governors that deductions from the Federation Account for the Nigeria Police Security Trust Fund should be distributed among the states and Federal Government to combat security challenges.”

The body called on governors and critical stakeholders from other regions to support the patriotic initiatives of the Southern Governors’ Forum.

Abaribe also said, “The Joint Caucus agrees with the position of the Governors in rejecting the three percent share of the oil revenue to the host community as passed by the Senate and supporting the five percent as passed by the House of Representatives.

“As a Joint Caucus, we have set up very strong machinery to ensure that, in the interest of justice and fairness, the percentage of share of the oil revenue to the host community does not fall below expectation

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