Home Politics PDP govs demand credible polls in Bayelsa, Imo, Kogi

PDP govs demand credible polls in Bayelsa, Imo, Kogi

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By  Dirisu Yakubu

Governors elected on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party, on Tuesday, called on the Independent National Electoral Commission to set a high standard of neutrality in the November 11 governorship elections in Bayelsa, Imo and Kogi states.

This was as they expressed worry over the rising insecurity in some states of the federation.

In a communique issued at the end of a four-hour inaugural meeting of the PDP Governors’ Forum, under the leadership of the Bauchi State Governor, Bala Mohammed, the governors called on the Federal Government to rise up to its responsibility of making the country safer for Nigerians.

The communique read, “The meeting notes the deteriorating security situation in the country, especially the wanton destruction of lives and property in Plateau and Zamfara states, among other states.

“The meeting, consequently, advised the Federal Government and security agencies to rise to the situation and bring the situation under control.”

On the upcoming off-season govenorship elections, the communiqué said, “The meeting advised the Independent National Electoral Commission,  the security agencies, and the Federal Government to be neutral in the conduct of the off-season elections in Bayelsa, Kogi and Imo states.

“The meeting resolved to work together and unite the forum, whose aim is to provide a platform for peer review of issues, policies, programmes and achievements (legacy projects) of member governors across the PDP states.“In the interim, the Forum would cooperate with the Federal Government on issues concerning the welfare of Nigerians and good governance while striving to maintain the independence and autonomy of the Forum through offering constructive criticisms where necessary.”

Fielding questions from journalists shortly after the meeting, Governor Bala Mohammed said the issue of the substantive National Chairman of the PDP was an internal affair, noting that the Governors’ Forum was only a part of the leadership structure of the party that would decide the emergence of a new chairman.

“The chairmanship issue is one the party will address. We, the PDP governors, discussed the state of the party but the issue of the substantive chairman is a party affair. I can also tell you that the reconciliation of aggrieved party members is ongoing. There is no cause for alarm,” he stated.

On the absence of the Rivers State Governor, Similayi Fubara, Bala said an apology was sent to the forum, adding that there was no need for anyone to read negative meaning into his absence.

“He sent an apology and that is all. You can see that 12 out of the 13 PDP governors attended the meeting. This goes to show that we are very united as a group,” he added.

Meanwhile, The PUNCH gathered that governors agreed to work individually and collectively to make the PDP stronger in their respective states.

A credible source, who was at the meeting, told our correspondent that the governors agreed to work amicably with their state chapters to guard against the springing up of factions as witnessed in the build-up to the 2023 general elections.

“The need to have robust state chapters was discussed. The governors believe that the lack of unity in some states worked against the PDP, both in the presidential and governorship elections in 2023. They, therefore, emphasised the need to project the party above individual interests.

“Another issue discussed was the need to support the party’s candidates in the three states where governorship elections are due in November,” he said.

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