By Myke Uzendu, Abuja
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has disclosed that it will investigate the roles played by its members at the National Assembly during the voting exercise on the electronic transmission of election results.
The party had canvassed the use of technology to transmit election results, insisting that most of the controversies and falsification of election occur as a result of the human interface during the result collation at the local government and state collation centres.
The party however came under heavy attack as most of its influential lawmakers stayed away on the day of the all-important voting exercise.
Addressing newsman on Wednesday at its Secretariat, the National Publicity Secretary of the party, Kola Ologbondiyan said that the party is set to meet with its caucus at the national Assembly to investigate the role of its members during the exercise.
He said, “The people’s Democratic Party is calling a meeting between the party and caucus in the national Assembly to review the participation of members in the legislative activity of the national Assembly as it concerns the voting on transmission of results”.
Some of the PDP senators who stayed away during the voting exercise include: Former Deputy Senate President Sen. Ike Ekwewmmadu, Senator Uche Ekwunife, Senator Stella Oduah, Sen. Emmanuel Bwacha, Senator Chimaroke Namani and many others.
The upper legislative chamber had retained an amendment by Sabi Abdullahi, senate deputy whip, who proposed that the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) must certify that national coverage is adequate and secure, while the national assembly must approve the recommendation before the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) can transmit election results electronically.
Senator Albert Bassey who is representing Akwa Ibom north-east, kicked against the motion and said the initial proposal made by the committee should be retained.
28 Senators, all from the PDP, voted for the original amendment in the bill that INEC should make decisions on the electronic transmission of election results while 52 Senators, all from the APC, voted for the amendment as proposed by Senator Abdullahi.
Senator representing Anambra Central in the nation’s upper legislature, Senator Uche Ekwunife has given reasons for her absence during the voting for electronic results transmission.
The senator said she is fully in support of electronic transmission of election results, adding that her absence was because she had scheduled programmes in her constituency.
She said: “In the last 48 hours, I have read and listened to statements by some constituents who feel disappointed that I was not present to cast my vote during the consideration of the Electoral Act amendment Bill to allow for electronic transmission of results during elections in Nigeria.
“I have on many occasions, stated my support and stand for electronic transmission of results. I feel strongly that instant electronic transmission of election results will address many of the challenges in our electoral process and end the alteration of results and electoral fraud during collation which is usually occasioned by human error or deliberate attempt to upturn the wishes of the people.
“My stand has always been that electronic transmission of results should be mandatory in all polling units and collation centers across Nigeria without exceptions,” she stated.
Meanwhile, the opposition party has kicked against the decision of the Supreme Court rejecting its appeal on the selection process of the APC governor could not be upheld when the governors emergence as the Chairman of the party was against the party’s and 1999 constitution as amended.
He said, “Once again we say thank you to the Supreme Court. However we insist and in line with the split decision of the Supreme Court Judgement that there is no way that Mai Mala Buni as governor of Yobe state can also function as chairman of All Progressives Congress.
That is totally am aberration of the doctrine and dictates as established in the All Progressives Congress constitution as well as 1999 constitution as amended. We insist that the process that led to the emergence of Gov. Akeredolu was and remains a violation of the APC constitution as well as the 1999 constitution; Section 183 of the 1999 constitution states that no governor should hold any other position in any capacity apart from the office of the governor. As you know, this was the major ground upon which we went to the Supreme Court.”