Governors elected on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) have asked the national assembly to override President Muhammadu Buhari and pass the electoral act amendment bill or remove the provisions on direct primary.
The governors’ position is contained in a communique released on Monday after a meeting in Port Harcourt, capital of Rivers state.
The president declined assent to the bill, citing concerns over the recommendation of direct primaries for political parties.
The president had also said compulsory direct primary polls for political parties “violates the spirit of democracy”.
The opposition party governors said the national assembly must quickly commence work on the bill, adding that it is critical for credible elections.
“The PDP Governors requested the National Assembly to quickly conclude deliberations on the Electoral Act Amendment Bill either by overriding Mr President’s veto or deleting areas of complaints,” the communique reads.
“The meeting advised that the option of sustaining Mr President’s veto would lead to a quicker resolution and would deny Mr President the opportunity to once again truncate a reformed Electoral jurisprudence for Nigeria. An early concluded Electoral Act is vital for credible elections.”
The governors also expressed reservations about Buhari’s stance on state police, stating that Nigeria’s security architecture must be decentralised in order to effectively combat insecurity.
“The meeting lamented the continued state of insecurity in the country, the persistent and ceaseless flow of Nigerians’ blood on a daily basis in many parts of Nigeria, the near-collapse of the security situation in Nigeria. The strategies to confront terrorists, kidnappers, bandits and other criminals is still a major problem of the APC administration,” the governors said.
“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 and urges Mr President to reconsider his position and consider decentralisation and restructuring of the security architecture as the most viable solution, together with proper arming, funding and training requirements for Security Agencies.”
The governors said the “next (2023) election is a very consequential election that should be used to end the dominance of very youth unfriendly APC government”.