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Sign electoral bill now, PDP gov's tell Buhari


Governors elected on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) have called on President Muhammadu Buhari to “immediately” sign the revised electoral act amendment bill into law.

The position of the governors was contained in a communique released on Monday after a meeting in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa capital.

Recall that the president had declined assent to the bill, citing concerns over the recommendation of direct primaries for political parties.

The president had said compulsory recommending direct primary for political parties “violates the spirit of democracy”.

The clause was later removed by the senate and house of representatives and the lawmakers introduced a clause allowing political parties to elect their candidates using direct, indirect, or consensus methods.

The revised bill was subsequently transmitted to the president on January 31.

Speaking on the development, the PDP governors said the president should sign the bill into law immediately rather than wait for the 30 days duration allowed by the constitution to elapse.

“The PDP Governors urged Mr. President to immediately sign the Electoral Act Amendment Bill into law. Waiting to run out the 30 days is yet another sign of unwillingness by Mr. President to give Nigeria a reformed electoral framework. If there are still misgivings on any aspect of the bill, amendments may be introduced at a later stage,” the communique reads.

“The Governors frowned at the duplicity, inconsistency, insincerity of the APC-led federal government on the fuel subsidy regime, which has been badly and corruptly administered. The figures of consumption ascribed to Nigerians appear fictitious and bloated. We call for a proper investigation to be conducted on this matter.

“The Forum welcomed the court decision on Police Trust Fund deductions from the federation account, a suit at the instance of Rivers State, and urged the federal government to stop similar unconstitutional deductions from the federation account.

“In the same vein, the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission should expedite action on the new Revenue Allocation formula in such a way as to increase allocation to states and local government.

“The Forum once again deplored the way and manner the CBN is being run as an alternate government, indeed, a government within a government. It is time to streamline its functions and processes to be constitutionally compliant.

“The Forum once again decried the opaque nature of NNPC operations. We call for accountability and reconciliation of NNPC remittances into the federation account.”

The opposition party governors also asked the national assembly to use the ongoing constitutional amendment to ensure that more powers are delegated to the states and local governments.

“This opportunity to rejig the framework for policing and securing Nigeria should not be missed,” the governors said.

“To this end, the Forum would set up a Panel of Consultants to have a thorough look at the security architecture of Nigeria and make recommendations. The Governors also urged the National Assembly to transfer some items from the Exclusive Legislative List to Concurrent List.”

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