National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Prince Uche Secondus, has said that shoddy arrangement for general election by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, was a deliberate pre-determined agenda of President Muhammadu Buhari to cling on to power even when its obvious to him that Nigerians want him out..
“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.”
Secondus, in a statement Saturday morning by his spokesman, Ike Abonyi, said it is allegedly part of a grand design by the All Progressives Congress, APC, to thwart the will of Nigerians at all cost, clearly exposes INEC as a failure and calls on the Chairman of the Commission, Prof Mahmood Yakubu to resign immediately
The PDP leader warned that the party will not accept anything short of a well organized electoral process devoid of manipulation, harassment and intimidation of voters and the opposition particularly members of the PDP.
The National Chairman said 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.
“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 the development, the President has further demonstrated his insensitivity, as Nigerians, including those who came home from abroad, have all mobilized to their various constituencies.
The National Chairman recalled that the PDP had earlier alerted Nigerians that the APC was coming up with lined up rigging strategies including burning down of INEC offices and engineering crisis in PDP strong hold areas to scare away the people.
“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.”
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 wants to do.
Prince Secondus further regretted that President Buhari, who made a promise at the signing of peace accord that the election will be conducted in a fair and transparent atmosphere, has allegedly gone ahead in breach of the peace agreements to send soldiers and other security agencies to arrest, harass and intimidate opponents in Rivers, Akwa Ibom, Kwara, Kano, Kaduna states.
Mainwhile..APC is also accusing PDP..
“We have just received with great disappointment and disillusionment the announcement by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) of its decision to postpone the Presidential/National Assembly and Gubernatorial/House of Assembly Elections to Saturday, February 23, 2019 and Saturday, March 9, 2019, respectively.
We condemn and deprecate this tardiness of the electoral umpire in the strongest terms possible. President Muhammadu Buhari had since cooperated fully with INEC by ensuring EVERYTHING it demanded to conduct free and fair elections were promptly made available to it. This news is therefore a huge disappointment to us and to our teeming supporters nationwide and around the world, many of whom have come into the country to exercise their franchise.
We do hope that INEC will remain neutral and impartial in this process as the rumor mill is agog with the suggestion that this postponement has been orchestrated in collusion with the main opposition, the PDP, that was NEVER ready for this election. We note that all the major credible demographic projections have predicted a defeat of the PDP and it seriously needed this breather to orchestrate more devious strategies to try and halt President Buhari’s momentum. It did the same as the ruling Party in 2015, when it realized the game was up, by orchestrating the postponement of the 2015 elections by six weeks. Now, it may be up to its old trick again.
It is in the light of the above that we wish to appeal to Nigerians and our supporters to be patient, calm and resolute despite this temporary setback.
FESTUS KEYAMO, SAN, FCIARB(UK)
Director, Strategic Communications, APC Presidential Campaign Council