Opposition governors say their confidence in INEC is shaky.
The All Progressives Congress, APC, governors, under the aegis of Progressive Governors Forum have frowned at the alleged continuous deductions and manipulation of the Federation Account by the Federal Government, saying it would apply appropriate constitutional measures to ensure that the government at the centre complied with rights of the states.
The Forum also condemned the conduct of the bye election in the Delta Senatorial District by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, which the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, candidate won, describing it as a “charade.”
Rising from their meeting in Abuja on Tuesday evening, the governors, in the communiqué signed by six of them, said that there was no justification for the continuous dwindling revenue collections into the Federation Account giving that the price of crude oil, the main source of revenue, had been relatively stable above $100 per barrel since the beginning of 2003.
They also condemned the Federal Government’s alleged consistent disregard for the Constitution and the Appropriation Act as passed by the National Assembly, wondering why President Goodluck Jonathan administration was unable to implement the budget, which it willingly harmonised and which the federal legislature passed into law.
The governors who signed the communique were Kayode Fayemi (Ekiti), Rochas Okorocha (Imo), Rauf Aregebsola (Osun), Abiola Ajimobi (Oyo), Ibrahim Geidam (Yobe) and Zanna Mustapha, deputy governor of Borno State, who represented his boss, Kashim Shettima.
Members of the Forum absent from the meeting were Babatunde Fashola (Lagos), Abdulaziz Yari (Zamfara), Ibikunle Amosun (Ogun), Adams Oshiomhole (Edo) and Tanko Al-Makura (Nasarawa).
“The Forum frowns at the continuous illegal and unjustifiable deductions as well as the unwholesome manipulation of the Federation Account and other state resources by the Federal Government,” the communiqué said.
“Forum vows to apply all appropriate constitutional measures to ensure that Federal Government respects the constitutional rights of states and the Appropriation Act 2013.”
On the Delta senatorial election, the Forum said its conduct rubbished Mr Jonathan’s avowed and repeated pronouncement to promote credible, free and fair elections at all levels.
It assured that it would take appropriate measures to redress the injustice against the people of the Delta Central District.
The Forum expressed worry over the inability of the inability of INEC to conduct free and fair polls, despite the huge resources that had been channelled to reposition the Commission.
It said it was bothered about how the Commission, with other supporting federal agencies, would be able to ensure that the November 16 governorship election in Anambra was free and fair, adding that it was mindful that Nigerians had high expectations of the APC.
“In the face of the sham in Delta, Forum’s confidence in INEC is shaky unless urgent measures are set in motion to ensure that Anambra Governorship election is credible and transparent,” the Forum said.
The Forum called on INEC to immediately set machinery in motion for the conclusion of the Oguta State Assembly election, stressing that “it was inconceivable that INEC could not successfully conduct election in five polling booths.”
It also reaffirmed its commitment to continue to support the Interim Executive Committee of the APC and asked all the party structures to do the same.
It also urged Nigerians to remain steadfast in the face of desperate socio-economic circumstances and intimidating security challenges and assured that it would remain committed to take all necessary initiatives to provide life more abundant for all.