The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Wednesday said that President Muhammadu Buhari’s demand for credible polls quality under the current Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) have raised fresh issues on the credibility of the February 2019 presidential election.
President Buhari had during the visit of INEC chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, Tuesday charged the commission on credible polls across the country.
PDP in a statement issued by its national publicity secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, Wednesday noted that “in demanding that INEC and the Police should ensure that the will of the people prevail in free, fair and credible elections “immediately ahead and going forward”, Mr president has admitted that preceding elections under the current dispensation have been less than credible.
“This is including the recent elections in Bayelsa and Kogi where the All Progressives Congress (APC) turned the respective states to theaters of war. Yet Mr. President congratulated the ‘winners’ of those charades”, it added.
The statement in part reads further: “In his own words, in a meeting with INEC chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, and the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, at the Presidential Villa, Mr. President said, “Our elections must be done in violent-free atmosphere. The process must be free, fair, decent and devoid of intimidations and malpractices. It is the duty of the police to accomplish that and this is what I expect in the elections immediately ahead and going forward.”
Mr. President added, “those that you declare as winners must be candidates that the people have chosen. Democracy is about free will, and the will of the people must be allowed to prevail”.
“This is a weighty verdict by Mr. President on the huge electoral fraud perpetrated in the 2019 elections by his party, APC.
“Though the verdict of the Supreme Court on the presidential election stands, in total obedience to our laws, the fact remains that the violent manipulations of the 2019 elections in favour of the APC and its candidates will continue to stare our nation in the face.
“Mr. President’s remark shows that, in their innermost conscience, beneficiaries of manipulated polls are always confronted with the truth.
“Furthermore, the PDP tasks the management of INEC and the Police to come clean of the details of their recent meeting with President Buhari which is coming ahead of about 28 impending runoffs and by-elections scheduled for this month.
“Our party holds that INEC is an independent electoral commission whose activities and processes are clearly governed by the law and extant rules and not by the dictates or prescriptions of the President.
“Mr. President should therefore steer clear of INEC while the commission must assert its independence and desist from going to the presidential villa for instructions on elections. Nigerians have their doubts if the hugely compromised INEC under Professor Yakubu can be anything independent.
“However, if, indeed, Mr President is committed to ensuring free, fair and credible electoral process, he should reintroduce the 8th Assembly’s Electoral Act Amendment bill, which he refused to sign, and make a fresh commitment to sign it into law immediately it is retooled to meet current exigencies and passed by the current National Assembly.”