Governors elected on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) have called on the National Assembly to include the electronic transmission of election results in the amendment and passage of the Electoral Act.
A statement by the Chairman of the forum and Sokoto State Governor Aminu Tambuwual, on Tuesday in Abuja, the governors called on the legislators to set a conference committee that will harmonise the Electoral Act Amendment Bills passed by both chambers.
The forum feared that further delay in passing and assenting to the Electoral Act Amendment Bill would affect preparations for the conduct of the 2023 elections in Nigeria.
It said its intervention was predicated on the need to ensure a free, fair and credible election that strengthens Nigeria’s democracy, constitutionalism and rule of law.
It noted that only a credible election will guarantee accountability and good governance which Nigeria so desperately needs today.
“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.
“It should be noted that Section 52(2) of the House version says: ‘Voting at an election and transmission of result under this Bill shall be in accordance with the procedure determined by the Commission.’ and Section 52 (2) of the Senate version provides: “The Commission may consider electronic transmission of results provided that the national coverage is adjudged to be adequate and secure by the Nigeria Communications Commission and approved by the National Assembly,” the statement reads in part.
It noted that 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.