Ahead of the 2023 general elections, Governors elected on the platform of the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has requested of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), to deploy appropriate technologies necessary to ensure that the votes of every Nigerian is counted and made to count.
Similarly, the forum has also tasked the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), especially, the Universal Service Provision Fund (USPF), Nigerian Communications Satellite Ltd, and telephone companies 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 governors, who met in Bauchi, Bauchi State on Monday stated these in a ten point communique issued at the end of their meeting ,during which they deliberated and reviewed the deteriorating state of the country’s democracy, the economic and security situation in the country.
Chairman of PDP Governors’ Forum and Governor of Sokoto State, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, who read the communique, said the forum identified with the need for a 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.
In attendance were: Gov. Nyesom Ezenwo Wike (Rivers); Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu (Abia); Gov. Udom Emmanuel (Akwa-Ibom); Gov. Douye Diri ( Bayelsa); Gov. Samuel Ortom (Benue); Gov. Ifeanyi Okowa (Delta); Gov. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi (Enugu); Gov. Oluseyi Abiodun Makinde (Oyo); Gov. Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri (Adamawa); Gov. Godwin Obaseki (Edo); Gov. Bala Mohammed (Bauchi); Gov. Darius Ishaku (Taraba) and Deputy Gov. Mahdi Mohd (Zamfara).
The PDP governors condemned the attempt to foist on all political parties, one method of conducting primaries, that is, by direct method only through the Electoral Act Amendment Bill.
According to the forum, the direct method is prone to massive rigging, as evidenced by a situation where President Muhammad Buhari scored about 15 million votes in the 2018 APC direct primaries, only to score 15 million votes from the entire country in the 2019 general election.
The governors stressed that political parties, should be allowed to decide whether to use direct or indirect method of conducting primaries as part of internal democracy in political parties.