Nigeria election: Main opposition party, PDP rejects shift in election dates, asks INEC chair to resign
London, Feb. 16, 2019 (AltAfrica)-Nigeria’s main opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party has rejected the new dates announced by the Independent National Electoral Commission for the conduct of the general elections.
It alleged that shoddy arrangements for the elections by the Independent National Electoral Commission was a deliberate agenda of President Muhammadu Buhari to cling on to power even when it said it was obvious to him that Nigerians wanted him out.
National Chairman of the party, Prince Secondus, stated this while reacting to the pronouncements made by the Chairman of the commission, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu in the early hours of Saturday that the elections had been postponed.
Yakubu said that the Presidential and National Assembly elections earlier scheduled to hold today would now hold next Saturday while that of governorship, state houses of Assembly and Abuja area councils had been shifted to March 9.
Secondus alleged that the postponement was part of a grand design by the All Progressives Congress to thwart the will of Nigerians at all cost.
He added that the action had clearly exposed INEC as a failure and called on its chairman to resign immediately.
The PDP leader warned that the party will not accept “anything short of a well organised electoral process devoid of manipulation, harassment and intimidation of voters and the opposition particularly members of the PDP.”
He added, “Having failed in all their nefarious options to enable them cling on to power, the APC and the INEC came up with the idea of shifting election, an action that is dangerous to our democracy and is therefore unacceptable.”
Secondus added that the APC in connivance with the INEC “have been trying all options including but not limited to burning down INEC offices in some states and destroying of electoral materials to create artificial problems upon which to stand for their dubious act.”
According to a statement from the national chairman’s media office signed by Ike Abonyi, Secondus said that the party was privy to the alleged pressure from the APC and the Federal Government to allegedly arm twist INEC, to dance to their new strategy after earlier ones failed.
He said, “With several of their rigging options failing, they have to force INEC to agree to a shift in the election or a staggered election with flimsy excuses pre-manufactured for the purpose.
“For the avoidance of doubt the PDP sees this action as wicked and we are also aware of other dubious designs like the deployment of hooded security operatives who would be ruthless on the people ostensibly to scare them away.”
He said that by this action, the President had allegedly further demonstrated his “insensitivity costing the huge cost after Nigerians including those who came home from abroad have all mobilised to their various constituencies.”
He recalled that the PDP had earlier alerted Nigerians that the APC was allegedly coming up with rigging strategies including “burning down of INEC offices and engineering crisis in PDP stronghold areas to scare away the people.”
Secondus said that the wicked killing of over 60 persons mostly women and children in Southern Kaduna on the eve of election was a copious ploy by the APC to frighten the people away from voting, knowing too well that they were not going to record any vote from the area.
“Recall that the Governor of Kaduna state, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai had earlier threatened international election observers of going to their country in body bags and with the fatal violence in the state on the eve of election, it’s clear what the motives are, to frighten the observers from the state so that he can carry out his nefarious acts,” he added.
The National Chairman also drew the attention of all lovers of democracy to the statement of President Buhari on the international media that nobody can unseat him from office as an indication of what he wanted to do.
Prince Secondus also regretted that President Buhari who made a promise at the signing of peace accord that the election would be conducted in a fair and transparent atmosphere had gone ahead in breach of the peace agreements to by sending soldiers and other security agencies to arrest, harass and intimidate opponents in Rivers, Akwa Ibom, Kwara, Kano, Kaduna states.