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Electoral Act: Override Buhari’s veto, PDP govs tell NASS

Governors elected on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), yesterday, met in Port Harcourt, Rivers State and considered issues affecting the country. Among issues deliberated at the meeting were the Electoral Act, the state of insecurity in the country and the economy.

 

The one-day meeting, which was presided over by Sokoto State Governor, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, called on the National Assembly to quickly conclude deliberations on the Electoral Act Amendment Bill.

 

President Muhammadu Buhari had last year, withheld his assent to the bill on the excuse of inclusion of direct mode of primary by political parties for election of candidates for election. But PDP governors said the lawmakers should either override the president’s veto or delete the area of complaint.

 

The governors in a communiqué issued at the end of the meeting, however, stated that: “The option of sustaining Mr. President’s veto would lead to a quicker resolution and would deny  Mr. President the opportunity to once again truncate a reformed electoral jurisprudence for Nigeria.”

 

The state chief executives noted that “an early concluded Electoral Act is vital for credible elections.”

 

They lamented the state of insecurity in the country, and the ceaseless flow of Nigerians’ blood on a daily basis in many parts of the country.

 

The governors faulted the strategies adopted by the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in tackling the cases of terrorism, kidnapping, banditry and other criminal activities in the country, noting what they described as “the near collapse of the security situation in Nigeria.”

The meeting also expressed displeasure at President Buhari’s position on state policing, and called on him to reconsider his position on the matter as the proposal would help in reviewing the structural problems in tackling insecurity in the country.

The communiqué equally called for the “decentralisation and restructuring of the security architecture as the most viable solution, together with proper arming, funding and training requirements for security agencies.”

The state chief executives also deliberated on the economy, and regretted that the nation’s economy “has continued to deteriorate and Nigerians have become numb and accustomed to bad economic news as exemplified by the inconsistent and differential exchange rate regime, high interest rates, unsustainable unemployment figures and borrowing spree some of which have not been applied to important projects, and other bad economic indicators.

“In particular, it is clear that the APC government is a massive failure when compared with the records of PDP in government.

“The PDP handed over a $550 billion economy (the largest in Africa), but under APC, Nigeria is the Poverty Capital of the world.

“In 2015, under PDP, the exchange rate was N198 per dollar, it is now under APC almost N500 to a dollar; in 2015, unemployment rate was 7.3% under PDP, and it is now 33%, one of the highest in the world under APC. “In 2015, the pump price of petroleum was N87 per litre; it is now N165 per litre and climbing under APC. Debt servicing now under APC takes over 98% of the federal budget.

 

The tales of woe are endless.” PDPstatechief executives urgedNigerians, particularly the youth, to take the opportunity of the ongoing continuous voters’ registration (CVR) and register with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), so as to exercise their franchise in the 2023 general election. Ten out of 13 PDP governors were present at the meeting.

 

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