November 23, 2018

Press Statement

Can INEC Still Be Trusted?

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The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has reported President Muhammadu
Buhari to the United Nations (UN) over plots by his Presidency and the
All Progressives Congress (APC) to scuttle the conduct of the 2019
general elections, particularly, the presidential poll.

The PDP said there is heightened tension across the country over the
manipulations by the Buhari Presidency, adding that if the UN and the
international community fail to intervene and support a credible, free
and fair election, our nation may witness an electoral stillbirth,
capable of triggering violence and humanitarian crisis in Nigeria and
the entire sub-Sahara region.

The National Chairman of the PDP, Prince Uche Secondus, who led the
members of the National Working Committee to receive the Special
Representative of the UN Secretary General for West Africa and the
Sahel, Mr. Mohammed Ibn Chambas, in his office in Abuja on Friday,
alerted the UN Security Council that President Buhari is already
compromising the military and other security forces as tools to muscle
the electoral process.

“President Buhari is not preparing for elections. He is not prepared for
the rigours of any electoral exercise. Every well-intentioned politician
goes out to the street to engage and persuade the people with his or her
manifesto and policies, but President Buhari is not ready to engage
anybody in contest of ideas; that is why he is desperate to compromise
our military as a measure of limitless powers to rig.

“The world saw how our Service Chiefs participated in President Buhari’s
campaign rally.  There is no way these Service Chiefs will not be pushed
to resort to self-help on behalf of President Buhari and his APC in the
election. The UN Security Council should note this and intervene to save
our democratic process.

“President Buhari has militarized our electoral process. In the July and
September governorship elections in Ekiti and Osun states respectively,
in addition to various bye-elections, military equipment were rolled out
to prevent the opposition from voting. Citizens were freely manhandled,
arrested and subjugated by security agents, who openly worked for the
APC.  Today, in Nigeria, the PDP is contesting with security forces and
not with the APC.

“Also, President Buhari has compromised our Police. As we speak, the
Inspector-General of Police has sealed the Akwa-Ibom state House of
Assembly and seized an arm of government, just like they did in Benue
state in July.  Our country has been turned into a police state and
there is fear everywhere.

“Similarly, our Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has
been annexed by the Buhari Presidency. This is the reason it has not
been able to conduct any credible election in the last three and half
years. Nigerians have lost confidence that INEC as presently constituted
can guarantee credible polls in 2019. We, therefore, demand for the
resignation of the INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu and Mrs. Amina
Zakari, who is a niece of Mr. President.

“Our international partners must therefore insist and encourage a free,
fair and credible electoral process. They must also caution against
manipulation and other abuses that are capable of truncating our
democracy and endangering the lives of Nigerians as a result of a failed
electoral process,” Secondus further said.

Earlier, Mr. Chambas had urged political stakeholders in the country to
follow the rules to ensure a smooth electoral process in the 2019
elections.

Signed:

Kola Ologbondiyan
National Publicity Secretary

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