The Peoples Democratic Party Governors Forum has urged members of the National Assembly to commence the necessary changes and adjustments required to effect amendments in the Electoral Act which will allow for the electronic transfer of election results.
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The PDP Governors Forum stated this in a statement on Tuesday titled, ‘Electronic Transmission: PDP Governors Forum Tasks National Assembly Conference Committee To Rescue Nigeria’s Democracy – Ask NASS to be guided by patriotism and national interest,’ signed by its Chairman and Sokoto State Governor, Aminu Tambuwual, in Abuja.
The institution of a Conference Committee that will harmonise the different versions of the Electoral Act Amendment Bills passed by both chambers of the National Assembly is needed, Tambuwal noted in the statement.
An excerpt from the statement reads, “The Forum insists that a further delay in passing and assenting to the Electoral Act Amendment Bill will do grievous and irreparable damage to preparations for the conduct of the 2023 elections in Nigeria.
“The PDP Governors’ Forum requests the Senate and House of Representatives Conference Committee when set up, to adopt the House version of the Electoral Act Amendment Bill on the issue of Electronic Transmission.
“The Senate version which subjects the decision of INEC to deploy electronic transmission to the decision of the Nigerian Communications Commission and National Assembly is manifestly a usurpation of the powers of INEC and offends relevant provisions of the Nigerian Constitution that guarantees INEC’s autonomy and independence.
“The Conference has no choice but to adopt the House version as to do otherwise would lead to unnecessary complications and conflicts even within the Bill.
“The Senate version that retains the original provision in the Electoral Act should be adopted in the interest of the growth of our political parties and freedom of choice, the hallmark of a functional democracy.
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“This intervention of the PDP Governors is predicated on the need to ensure a free, fair, and credible election, that strengthens Nigeria’s democracy, constitutionalism, and rule of law.
“Only a credible election will guarantee accountability and good governance which Nigeria so desperately needs today.