BusinessDay

PDP governors list reasons APC must exit power in 2023

…urge NASS to override president on electoral bill

Governors of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) have listed reasons why Nigerians should vote out the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in 2023.

The governors also called on the National Assembly (NASS) to go the option of overriding presidential assent to the amended Electoral Bill 2021.

The governors, in a communiqué issued at the end of their meeting in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, on Monday, with Governor Nyesom Wike as the host, said Nigerians have become numb and accustomed to bad economic news as exemplified by the inconsistent and differential exchange rate regime, high-interest rates, unsustainable unemployment figures and borrowing spree some of which have not been applied to important projects and other bad economic indicators.

“In particular, it is clear that the APC government is a massive failure when compared with the records of PDP in government. The PDP handed over a $550 billion economy (the largest in Africa), but under APC, Nigeria is the poverty capital of the world.

“In 2015, under PDP, the exchange rate was N198 per dollar, it is now under APC almost N500 to a dollar; in 2015, unemployment rate was 7.3 percent under PDP, it is now 33 percent, one of the highest in the world under APC; in 2015, the pump price of petroleum was N87 per litre, it is now N165 per litre and climbing under APC.

“Debt-servicing now under APC takes over 98 percent of the federal budget. The tales of woe is endless.”

The PDP governors also noted that the management of the oil and gas resources and the administration of Federation Account remittances have remained opaque, confusing and non-transparent.

“In addition, the transition to NNPC Ltd under the Petroleum Industry Act has not been properly streamlined to ensure that the interests of all the tiers of Government are protected, consistent with the 1999 Constitution.”

Explaining why the NASS should override the president, the PDP governors said it was to block the chances of the president vetoing the bill when there is urgent need to get a law to manage the 2023 elections.

Former chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Mahmud Jega, has recently urged the NASS not to override the president but to simply remove the party primaries clause and pass the rest.

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But the PDP governors want otherwise, despite the fact that NASS is controlled by the APC.

Reading the communiqué to journalists after the meeting, chairman of the PDP Governors’ Forum and governor of Sokoto State, Aminu Tambuwal, lamented the protracted insecurity situation in the country and ceaseless flow of Nigerians’ blood in many parts of the country.

The statement noted that the near-collapse of the security situation in Nigeria with the APC administration lost on any enduring strategy to deploy in confronting the terrorists, kidnappers, bandits and other criminals

“The meeting expressed regrets that Mr President is unwilling, from his recent comments discountenancing the proposals for state policing, to participate in reviewing the structural problems of tackling insecurity in Nigeria.

The governors urged Mr President to reconsider his position and decentralise the security architecture as the most viable solution, together with proper arming, funding and training requirements for security agencies.”

The meeting also urged eligible Nigerians of all walks of life, particularly the youths, to register en-masse with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC)

This, the meeting, resolved, will enable the registered Nigerians to exercise their franchise in the 2023 general elections.

“The next election is a very consequential election that should be used to end the dominance of very youth unfriendly APC government; a government that had the arrogance to deny Nigerian youths of the use of Twitter, a business-friendly tool for the young, for over a year. The youths should empower themselves to determine who leads them.”

The PDP governors congratulated the Iyorchia Ayu-led National Executive Committee (NEC) and commended them for hitting the ground running with respect to repositioning the PDP as a credible vehicle for rescuing and rebuilding Nigeria which has been battered by bad economy, insecurity, unemployment and other social ills by “the incompetent and inept APC administration.”

Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State, who hosted the meeting, was commended by forum for the great leadership performance he has entrenched in Rivers State.

The governors who attended the meeting were Tambuwal (Sokoto ); Udom Emmanuel ( Akwa Ibom); Douye Diri ( Bayelsa); Samuel Ortom (Benue); Ifeanyi Okowa (Delta); Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi (Enugu); Oluseyi Abiodun Makinde (Oyo); Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri (Adamawa) Darius Dickson Ishaku (Taraba) and Bala Mohammed (Bauchi).

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