…Urge Buhari to sign reviewed electoral act into law
…Demand more allocations to local, state govts
…To engage consultants on security
By Dirisu Yakubu
ABUJA- Governors elected on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, have lauded Wednesday’s ruling of Abuja division of the Federal High Court, stopping federal government from making deductions from the federation account to fund the Nigerian Police Trust Fund, NPTF or any other institution not listed in the 1999 constitution (as amended).
The governors who gathered in their numbers in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa state capital, yesterday, under the auspices of the PDP Governors’ Forum also tasked President Muhammadu Buhari to immediately sign the reviewed electoral act amendment bill into law.
In a communique signed by chairman of the forum and governor of Sokoto state, Aminu Tambuwal, the governors slammed federal government’s management of the fuel subsidy regime, even as it expressed displeasure over the recent importation of contaminated fuel into the country.
The communique read in part: “The Forum welcomed the court decision on Police Trust Fund deductions from the Federation Account, a suit at the instance of Rivers state and urged the federal government to stop similar unconstitutional deductions from the Federation Account.
“In the same vein, the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission should expedite action on the new Revenue Allocation formula in such a way as to increase allocation to state and local governments.
“The Forum once again deplored the way and manner the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN is being run as an alternate government, indeed, a government within a government. It is time to streamline its functions and processes to be constitutionally compliant.
“The governors expressed their displeasure on the issue of contaminated fuel supplied to Nigerians and urged government to bring the perpetrators to account.
“The governors frowned at the duplicity, inconsistency, insincerity of the All Progressives Congress, APC-led federal government on the fuel subsidy regime, which has been badly and corruptly administered. The figures of consumption ascribed to Nigerians appear fictitious and bloated and
called for proper investigation to be conducted on this matter.
“The PDP governors urged Mr. President to immediately sign the Electoral Act Amendment Bill into law. Waiting to run out the 30 days is yet another sign of unwillingness by Mr. President to give Nigeria a reformed electoral framework. If there are still misgivings on any aspect of the bill, amendments may be introduced at a later stage.
While congratulating the party for “winning 43 out of 62 councillorship positions in the Federal Capital Territory Area Council election just concluded,” the governors called for improvements in the nation’s electioneering system, noting that “the Gwagwalada and Abuja Area Council results show that manipulations are still possible.”
They urged the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC to tighten all observed loopholes and further improve on the functioning of the Bi-Modal Voters Accreditation System, BIVAS machine for future elections.
Again, the governors called for transparency in the operations of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, with emphasis on accountability, reconciliation and remittances into the federation account.
The communique further read: “As the National Assembly winds down this current phase of the constitution review exercise, the forum urged that they revisit the issue of devolution of more powers to the state and local governments.
“The governors also urged the National Assembly to transfer some items from the exclusive legislative list to concurrent list.
“This opportunity to rejig the framework for policing and securing Nigeria should not be missed. To this end, the forum would set up a panel of consultants to have a thorough look at the security architecture of Nigeria and make recommendations.
The meeting was attended by the host and governor of Bayelsa state, Duoye Diri, Governors Nyesom Woke, Okezie Ikpeazu, Ahmadu Fintiri, Udom Emmanuel, Bala Mohammed of Rivers, Abia, Adamawa, Akwa Ibom and Bauchi states respectively.
Also in attendance were Governors Samuel Or tom (Benue), Ifeanyi Okowa (Delta), Godwin Obaseki (Edo), Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi (Enugu) and Seyi Makinde of Oyo state.