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PDP governors maintain, electronic transmission of election results not negotiable

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Opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Governors have maintained the stand that the National Assembly cannot but approve electronic transmission of election results, which the upper legislative chamber had earlier rejected when they considered the report on the Electoral Act (Amendment) Bill 2021.

After their six-hour meeting, which deliberated on the state of the nation in Bauchi State, the opposition governors expressed their full support for the electronic transmission of election results in the Electoral Amendment Act.
They also urged the National Assembly, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), National Communication Commission (NCC) and other relevant agencies to do everything possible for the seamless deployment of the process before the 2023 general elections.

They also reviewed the deteriorating state of the country’s democracy, the economic and security situation in the country and the state of the PDP as the main opposition platform in Nigeria.

In a 10-point communiqué at the end of the 11th meeting of the Forum, Chairman of the PDP Governors’ forum and Sokoto State Governor, Waziri Tambuwa, said: “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.

“We requested INEC, the only body empowered by the Constitution to conduct elections, to deploy appropriate technologies necessary to ensure that the votes of every Nigerian are counted and made to count.

The meeting called on NCC, especially the Universal Service Provision Fund (USPF), Nigerian Communications Satellite Ltd (NIGCOMSAT), Telephone Companies (Telcos), and all relevant stakeholders to ensure that universal access and service of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) are provided especially in rural, un-served and under-served areas of the country before the 2023 general elections.”

The meeting condemned the attempt to force all political parties to adopt one method of conducting primaries, that is, by direct method only, through the Electoral Act Amendment Bill. The governors noted that the method is prone to massive rigging, as evidenced by a situation where Buhari scored about 15 million votes in 2018 All Progressives Congress (APC) direct primaries only to score 15 million votes from the entire country in the 2019 general election.
The governors advised that political parties be allowed to decide whether to use direct or indirect methods of conducting primaries as part of internal democracy in political parties.

The Governors reiterated the need for the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and other revenue-generating agencies of government to strictly abide by the Constitution, by remitting all their revenue less cost of production into the Federation Account as provided for by S.162 of the Constitution.

“The meeting condemned the use of underhand tactics to arm-twist some PDP governors and other stakeholders to join the APC, a political party that has wrecked Nigeria’s economy, turned Nigeria into a killing field, and has nothing to offer Nigerians but misery and bad governance.

“Also, the governors condemned Mr. President and APC for 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, the meeting admonished the APC Federal Government 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, reiterating that 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 glaring example is that of Facebook who insisted on investing in Nigeria rather than Ghana and is being frustrated by regulatory authorities.”

On the security of life and property, in addition to their earlier recommendations, the Forum said 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 are destroying the Nigerian economy, the educational and social future of our children and causing significant social upheavals in society,” the PDP Governors admonished.

The PDP Governors 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 13 PDP governors that attended the meeting in Bauchi included, Aminu Tambuwal (Sokoto); Nyesom Wike (Rivers); Godwin Obaseki (Edo); Seyi Makinde (Oyo); Ahmadu Fintiri (Adamawa); Darius Ishaku (Taraba); Ifeanyi Okowa (Delta) and Okieze Ikpeazu (Abia).

Others are Udom Emmanuel (Akwa Ibom); Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi (Enugu); Samuel Ortom (Benue); Douye Diri (Bayelsa); and the host governor, Bala Mohammed (Bauchi). The Deputy Governor of Zamfara State was also in attendance.

At its last meeting in May, this year at Ibadan, Oyo State, the Forum said ranching must be adopted as a permanent solution to herders/farmers clashes in the country, while also reiterating the call for restructuring and for President Muhammadu Buhari to summon a meeting of the Nigerian Police Council and devolve more powers to states to douse the tension in the country and curb insecurity.

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Nasarawa APC Chairmanship aspirant, Ayewa promises to entrench internal democracy If elected

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From Abel Daniel, Lafia

All Progressives Congress (APC) Chairmanship aspirant in Nasarawa State Mr David Ayewa, has promised to ensure internal democracy if elected to lead the party in the state.

Ayewa who is the Executive Secretary of Nasarawa State Christian Pilgrims Welfare Board, made the commitment in an interview with newsmen on Wednesday in Lafia.

According to him, the only thing that would ensure that the party continues to win elections is when there is internal democracy.

He said if given the opportunity to be the state Chairman in the forthcoming state congress he would make internal democracy his priority.

Ayewa who was a one-time Chairman of Obi Local Government Area in the state, said the party needed someone with vast experience in the act of governance to lead it to future elections and ensure its victory beyond 2023.

Ayewa who is from Nasarawa South Senatorial didtrict, noted that he decided to contest because the Party Chairmanship has been in Nasarawa West for so long and the present governor of the state is from Nasarawa North Senatorial Zone.

He explained that ordinarily the party number one seat should come from Nasarawa South given the fact on ground.

He however pointed out that as a democrat and a team player who believe in collective decision he would work with other stakeholders of the party to choose what is best for the party.

“A lot of people consulted and encouraged me to contest and I have also made up my mind to throw my Hat in the ring.

“So, with those kind of people with me, I am sure of victory by the grace of God,” Ayewa added.

He said since the party in the state had adopted consensus in the wards and Local Government congreses, should the party decide on the same method he would respect the outcome.

“If I want people to stepdown for me in any election, I have to also prepare myself to stepdown for others when I am required to do so,” Ayewa added.

The aspirant therefore appealed to members and leaders of the party in the state to put the interest of the party above their own interest

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Presidency 2023: Nasarawa Governor, speaker throw weight behind Osinbajo

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From Abel Abogonye, Lafia

Governor Abdullahi Sule of Nasarawa state said that the Vice president professor Yemi Osinbajo is the best candidate that would continue with the legacies of president Muhammadu Buhari.

Governor Sule made this known Tuesday when a delegation of pro All Progressive Congress (APC) under the auspices of Progressive Consolidation Group, (PCG) paid him a visit at the government house Lafia.

In his address, the national chairman of PCG, Dr. Aliyu Rabiu Kurfi said that he and his members from the six geopolitical zones are in the state to consult and solicit support for the vice president, Yemi Osinbajo to succeed his principal come 2023.

“We have gone through the various records of activities and trends of politics. We have agreed with all honesty that the best candidate that will continue with the good works president Buhari has started is professor Yemi Osinbajo.

“Professor Osinbajo is a detribalized gentleman whose thinking is purely Nigeria with a political competency that knows no bound”, Dr. Aliyu stated.

In his remark, Governor Sule commended the group for pioneering the move, noting that the entire progressive Governors are concerned on the sustainability of the party beyond 2023.

“Our party is built around one man. Our major concern now is how to sustain the party beyond the one man’s legacies come 2023.

“Professor Osinbajo has demonstrated true loyalty to president Buhari. He is a friend, man of God, a family man. Not all products are sellable but Osinbajo is good and sellable”, Governor Sule said.

Sule however stated that anybody who mean well for this country will support Osinbajo as successor to president Buhari.

Also in his remarks, the right honorable Speaker Balarabe Ibrahim assured the group that wherever the father and political leader Governor Abdullahi Sule pitches his tenth, they with their followers will follow.

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Okorocha says Kanu is too small to decide for Southeast

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**Says President Buhari is not talking enough to Nigerians

Senator representing Imo West Senatorial District, in the Senate, Rochas Okorocha, has Berated the Federal government for the shabby manner it handled the issue of Nnamdi Kanu.

Okorocha who is also a former Governor of Imo State gave the indication at the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ) Federal Capital Territory (NUJ-FCT) Secretariat Abuja while marking his 59th birthday

He noted that, the larger than life image created out of Nnamdi Kanu was the failure, on the side of Government to manage the problem.

He maintained that Kanu cannot decide the direction of the region when there are quality leaders who are alive and can make decision for the eastern region as against an over zealous young man who does not know the issues of governance.

He noted that the region is concerned that the most sensitive issue in the Southeast today was that of amnesty for Boko Haram members who killed and maimed Nigerians in their houses and farms, yet the government has focused its energy on arrest and prosecution of Nnamdi Kanu

Okorocha advocated for a round table discussion between the federal Government and agitators like Kanu and his likes where they should warned agaisnt destabilising the country.

“What I will suggest, Nnamdi Kanu matter has become a tribal issue,we have lost the sensitivity of the matter, and we have now made it a tribal issue.

“Ab-initio, I had advised that Government shouldn’t have gone the way they went before shooting the image of the boy too high.
“We have met the issue on ground, when it started but when we started talking about Nnamdi Kanu, Nnamdi Kanu became a bigger than life image.

“What I would suggest is that federal Government and the Southeast should meet and find a way to sort out this problem, it is a evil wind that will not blew any one any good

“Nnamdi Kanu should not be made a very high issue. I wish as a senator said, that we just bring him around a table and let us know his anger.

“There is Jim Nwobodo, Ezeife, Nwanyanwu, leaders of thought in the Southeast and others, a young man wants to tell us the way to go. If we can get this kind of talk you find out that it is not worth the trouble we are giving to it. 

“Whatever that can resolve to get him out of that cell, with some kind of warning and undertaking, let the leaders say look, let bygone be bygone, let us start a new Nigeria, it will help.

“Not only him, the other agitators across the country, bring them back and talk them, what is sensitive now in the Southeast is the issue that they are giving amnesty to Boko Haram, and the Nnamdi Kanu is in detention. 

“It is no longer about Nnamdi Kanu now, it is taking a new dimension, I see this as overzealous young man who did not even experience the civil war and is talking more about the civil war, than we that have experienced it.”

He also carpered the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) for contemplating to zone the Presidency away from the south

His words: “There is no justifiable reason for APC to zone presidency away from the south, not even Southwest because there has been this culture of rotation, unwritten but what you called a mutual understanding.

“Power went first to the south there you had President Olusegun Obasanjo; then it came back to the North, we had Late President, Umaru Yar’Adua and back to the South, President Goodluck Jonathan.

“Then it came back to the North, the incumbent President, Muhammadu Buhari. I think it is just fair, in what is called understanding, it is not a right but for equity and justice, that this understanding is not broken, it should go back to the South.

He dismissed the statement credited to the Governor of Imo state, Senator, Hope Uzodima that the Southeast does not need the Presidency.

Okoracha said :”Which Governor? I don’t think you heard him right because in the normal sense he can’t say that. He can’t said that. Something is wrong, I think something is wrong. I don’t think he said that. That Ibo will not need the presidency? 

“The argument Ibos should make because I personally don’t believe that power should be shared like bread. Tear and give me. Let him that has something upstairs Govern because tribe will not put food on the table of the common man. 

“The Yoruba man has governed Nigeria. The Hausa man has governed Nigeria, the South South has governed Nigeria. Let’s try an Ibo man to see how it would be. That kind of statement will sound more ideally. If you put this, it would be softer than when you said it is Ibo, is Ibo, is our turn, is our turn. Turn to do what?

Okorocha admitted that the All Progressives Congress (APC) was not supportive of President Buhari’s administration as it should have done.

“If you want to say that our party the APC has not given sufficient support to the administration, I will also say you are right.
“If you say, there is is big communication gap, between the government and the people, I will say you are right. 
“Infact the last time I saw President Muhammadu Buhari, I said Sir, speak to Nigerians freely, this written speeches sometimes do not work, people want you to communicate with them; they want to know, so they can feel you, that is why am saying, once there is communication gap, you can misunderstand issues.

Okorocha maintained that the people of the Southeastern Nigeria only need a level playing field to demonstrate their ability in the Nigerian state.

He argued that the party has made promises at the campaign and was still working to achieve that but added that poor communication of the president created room for misunderstanding of his administration

“If APC had done well, you cannot generalize, we talked about power, agriculture, security, now, what you call work in progress you cannot take.
On whether he will run for presidency come 2023, he said,

“I don’t have ambition to be president, I have vision to be President of Nigeria, that is why it is driving me crazy because I see the possibility of a new Nigeria.

When you say ambition, I do not have the political connectivity to be President. The vision is what drives me.That is why I differ from most of these aspirations.

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