PDP Caucus in NASS backs Southern Govs on electronic transmission of results

The joint caucus of Senators on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party ( PDP) in the National Assembly,  has thrown its weight behind resolutions taken by Southern Governors at their meeting held in Lagos on Monday .

The Southern Governors had at the end of the meeting , kicked against any attempt to remove electronic transfer of election results from the Electoral Act ( Amendment ) bill set for final consideration and passage by both chambers of the National Assembly next week .

They also called for approval of State Police in the ongoing Constitution Review exercise and 5% for Host Community Fund in the about to be transmitted Petroleum Industry Bill .

Adopting the positions of the Governors at a press briefing on Wednesday , the PDP caucus said all their members will vote in favour of the resolutions when relevant bills to that effect are presented for final consideration and passage.

The Senate Minority Leader , Enyinnaya Abaribe who led the caucus at the briefing 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 (SGF) in vehemently rejecting the clandestine moves to manipulate and alter the Electoral Act to remove the electronic transmission 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 centers.

“The Joint PDP caucus is already taking very strong and uncompromising steps to ensure that the provision guaranteeing the electronic transmission of result is not tampered with in any form whatsoever. 

“On security, the Joint PDP Caucus reaffirm our unwavering support for the establishment of state police as well as other measure adopted by the governors to ensure the security of lives and property in the respective states, including those curtailing unauthorizes 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.

“These resolutions by the governors, regarding security does not offend but rather reinforce genuine efforts towards guaranteeing adequate security of lives and property given the current situation in our country as a federation.

“We call on governors, lawmakers and critical stakeholders from other regions to support these patriotic initiatives of the Southern Governors’ Forum in the interest of security of lives and property in our dear nation.

“The Joint Caucus agrees with the position of the Governors in rejecting the 3% percentage of share of the oil revenue to the host community as passed by the Senate and supporting the 5% 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”.