The National Assembly Caucus of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has aligned itself with the resolutions of the southern governors.
Members of the caucus, among other things, rejected an alleged plan to manipulate and alter the Electoral Act to remove the electronic transmission results from the law.
They made known their stand during a press conference at the National Assembly on Wednesday.
Their position comes two days after 17 Southern governors met in Lagos and opposed some of the items contained in the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) passed by the National Assembly last Thursday.
While they said the presidency should be zoned to Southern Nigeria in 2023 when President Muhammadu Buhari completes his second term in office, the governors opposed moves to remove electronic transmission from the proposed amendment to the Electoral bill.
Addressing journalists, leader of the caucus, Enyinnaya Abaribe, said the lawmakers’ decision was taken after due consideration and extensive deliberations on the political and security situation in the country.
On the Electoral Act, he said the 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, bastardise and frustrate genuine efforts towards credible elections in Nigeria.
“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 centres.
“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,” Mr Abaribe said.
The PDP caucus reaffirmed support for the establishment of state police as well as other measures adopted by the governors to ensure the security of lives and property in the respective states.
They also supported the governors’ demand 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.
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The caucus, he said, agrees with the position of the governors in rejecting the three per cent share of the oil revenue to the host community as passed by the Senate and supporting the five per cent as passed by the House of Representatives.
“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,” he said.
The lawmakers also commended the Southern Governors’ Forum for the “continued patriotic stand in always proffering solutions on critical issues bordering on the security, stability, as well as economic and political well-being of the nation”.
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