The forum stated this after a meeting in Bauchi. It rejected the idea of choosing the candidates of their party for any election through a direct primary election, as being proposed in the draft electoral bill.
Chairman of the forum and Sokoto State Governor, Aminu Tambuwal, said his colleagues, who were moving to the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) did so to avoid prosecution for corrupt practices.
The governors warned President Muhammadu Buhariand the APC to desist from converting the Presidential Villa, which belongs to all Nigerians, into the headquarters of their party, where they parade PDP members as new intakes.
In a communiqué signed by Tambuwal, the PDP governors said, “On the Electoral Act Amendment Bill, the governors 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.”
While requesting INEC to deploy appropriate technologies to ensure that the vote of every Nigerian was counted and made to count, the meeting called on the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), and the Universal Service Provision Fund (USPF), Nigerian Communications Satellite Ltd (NIGCOMSAT), Telephone Companies (Telcos), and all relevant stakeholders 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 election.
According to the governors, “The meeting 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.
“The governors noted that the method is prone to massive rigging, as evidenced by a situation, where President 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 advised 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.”
The governors reiterated the need for the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and other revenue generating agencies of government to strictly abide by the constitution by remitting all their revenue, less cost of production, into the Federation Account as provided for by Section 162 of the constitution.
“The meeting condemned, once again, the use of underhand tactics to arm-twist some PDP governors and other stakeholders to join the APC, a political party that has wrecked Nigeria’s economy, turned Nigeria into a killing field and has nothing to offer Nigerians but misery and bad governance.
“The governors condemned Mr. President and APC for turning the Presidential Villa, that belongs to all Nigerians, into the new APC headquarters, where coerced PDP members are being paraded at intervals.”
On the economy, the meeting cautioned the APC federal government to collaborate more with state governments to stem the unemployment scourge affecting the youth of Nigeria, through technology and increased production in all fields of endeavour. The governors stated that government should stop paying lip service to the Ease of Doing Business, as foreign direct investment had continued to fall partly due to obstacles placed on foreign companies wishing to invest in Nigeria.
“A glaring example is that of Facebook, who insisted on investing in Nigeria rather than Ghana, and is being frustrated by regulatory authorities,” the governors said.
On security of lives and property, in addition to its earlier recommendations, the PDP governors said, “It is time to bring the activities of bandits, kidnappers and terrorists to an end, through increased use of military equipment, traditional means of conflict resolution, and technology for surveillance and the development of the political will to flush them out.
“Kidnapping, banditry and terrorism are not business ventures, as claimed by APC, but heinous state crimes that are destroying the Nigerian economy, the educational and social future of our children, and causing significant social upheavals in society.”
They urged all Nigerians of goodwill to take advantage of the on-going registration of voters by INEC to register to vote, and arm themselves with the necessary tools in the struggle to rescue Nigeria from the APC maladministration.
Furthermore, the PDP governors urged the general public, especially, the youth and women, to use the opportunity of the PDP e-registration exercise, which will kick off soon, to register as PDP members, while PDP members should update their membership electronically.
Others governors, who attended the meeting, were vice chairman of the PDP Governors Forum, and governor of Abia State, Okezie Ikpeazu; Udom Emmanuel (Akwa Ibom); Senator Douye Diri (Bayelsa); Samuel Ortom (Benue), and Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa (Delta).
Others were Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi (Enugu); Nyesom Wike (Rivers); Oluseyi Abiodun Makinde (Oyo); Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri (Adamawa); Godwin Obaseki (Edo);Bala Mohammed (Bauchi); Darius Ishaku (Taraba); and Zamfara State Deputy Governor, Mahdi Gusau.
Speaking earlier on why some PDP governors were joining APC, Tambuwal alleged that it was in a bid to avoid being prosecuted for their corrupt deeds. He said the remaining PDP governors would not be intimidated.
Tambuwal, who was represented by Ishaku, his Taraba State counterpart, spoke at a gala night at the Bauchi Government House banquet hall to welcome the PDP governors in the State.
Tambuwal said the only hope Nigerians had left was PDP, saying the party would regain power in 2023 and improve the living standard of Nigerians.
He stated, “As your governor earlier mentioned, we have no hope except in PDP. We will live in the PDP; we will salvage whatever the country is left of when we regain power in 2023. If you look around, only it is in the PDP states projects are on-going. I am sure I’m speaking the facts and the minds of many Nigerians.
“Those running and leaving the PDP to where their sins are forgiven… So if you are a bad and corrupt man, you go over to APC to where your sins will be forgiven but we do not agree and believe in intimidation. We will remain in the PDP; we will capture power and improve Nigeria.”
The governor also flayed the federal government for failing to defeat Boko Haram after promising to achieve the feat within six months of assuming power, adding the state of insecurity is getting worse.
He stated, “Those who said they were going to conquer Boko Haram in six month, six years now, they cannot do it; It is getting worse. We now have several Boko Harams terrorising the country. We will come and make Nigeria what it should be – the pride of Africa.”