The passage of the Electoral Bill as fundamental is crucial to the furtherance of Nigeria’s democracy, as against the ongoing process review the nation’s constitution, Governor Udom Emmanuel has declared.
The Akwa Ibom State governor reiterated that taking the nation on the path of constitutional review would portend a deliberate distraction, when the issue of Electoral bill which should assure Nigerians of their stake in the democracy is on ground and called on Nigerians to defy partisanship in such issue of national interest.
TheGovernor who stated this on Thursday while hosting the South-south zonal Executives of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, at Government house, Uyo, said, though the Electoral Bill may not be a single solution to all of Nigeria’s problem, it is a major step forward, maintaining that Nigeria has tried democracy over the years as a borrowed system and with the level of success so far, it has become expedient to streamline the system.
Hear him, “You are just trying to distract us from what you are supposed to do. Pass Electoral bill, pass Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), then you can talk of Constitution Review. Don’t muddle up issues and get people confused along the line.… To assure Nigerians that their votes will count, the electoral Bill is fundamental, important and urgent and so must be treated same. So if we really mean business that we want to do democracy, then let’s do it right”.
He decried the deteriorating economy of the nation and deprivation of the South-south states of the revenue due to them under the pretence of subsidy, said it was unbelievable that at $72 per barrel oil price, payment of salaries and wages still constitutes difficulty in the country, adding that Nigeria’s problem is not party but lack of sincerity in serving the people.
IIn his words, “As at today, oil price is $72 per barrel, while our budget benchmark was less than $40, yet there is not a dollar in the excess crude account. Even our 13% derivation is not given to us. They say they are using it to pay for subsidy and we don’t know those consuming 93 million litres of petrol every day. Tell me, what logistics do we have in Nigeria to support importation of 93 million litres of petrol every day”.
Furthermore, “we don’t have pipelines to pump the product to every part of the country at once. How many trucks do we have in Nigeria? Which roads do we have that the trucks use to transport the fuel to far North-east, South-east and all over the country and then come back to evacuate another 93 million litres every day. Even during COVID, we were still paying for subsidy on daily basis, but there was no movement. Who were those moving with the petrol, we don’t know. All these to deny us of the 13% derivation, when we can barely pay salaries and to construct a kilometre of road here takes about eight times the cost of making it in other regions”.
He commended the zonal EXCO for winning the trust of the party faithful to run the affairs of the PDP in the South-south zone, assuring that the South-south remains the party’s strong hold.
On the defection of Governor Ayade, Emmanuel said the PDP has not lost Cross River State, but that the people of Cross River State were at the verge of losing PDP. According to him, only PDP governors have been able to showcase projects in the nation over time, describing the rumours of his defection as a mere wish, adding that the touch of excellence and capacity brought to bear by the PDP led state governments have a lot to do with the quality of people in the party
In his remarks, the National Vice Chairman of Peoples Democratic(PDP) South-South, Chief Dan Obih, who said he was in this visit to appreciate you and to applaud the wonderful works Governor Emmanuel was doing for the State lauded the developmental strides of the governor in the State, describing him as an asset to the party and the nation.
Obih, however, decried the inability of the present government in Nigeria to proffer solution to the economic recession and alarming rate of insecurity and violence in the country, and said the country need the PDP and people like Udom Emmanuel to progress.
In his words, “These are certainly not very good times. As a man with very sound economic background, we notice that on a daily basis the naira is on a free fall. This country needs the PDP than ever before because of the problems that this government has not been able to provide solutions to. Nigerians need PDP; Nigerians need you and others to save our country”.